I recently attended a half-day yoga workshop led by Mahenderpal Sorya who had come from London to Ceredigion to teach us ‘moving meditation’. The yoga and meditation sessions themselves were beneficial, but one thing that he said stood out for me.
“Don’t let what you can’t do affect (or stop) you from doing what you can.”
In a yoga setting we can apply this to not fretting that we can’t get into a fully bound lotus position (or any other asana), but still making the physical movements towards that position. Or if you are temporarily restricted for whatever reason e.g. a broken foot in plaster (!) where you can’t sit in lotus? Sit in half lotus or with legs straight out. Can’t do a shoulderstand? Lie with your legs up the wall or on the seat of a chair.
Off the mat we can try to think of this when we find ourselves thinking ‘Ooh, I could never do that’. Can’t run a marathon? Train for a 5km (3 mile) run instead. Can’t run 3 miles? Try walking just 5 minutes a day. Can’t meditate for 20 minutes? Try meditating for just one minute. Rather than giving up on yourself in a situation because you can’t do it, focus on what you can do, what you can achieve, and don’t let the rest hinder your progress.
If we only focus on what we can’t do, we can end up forgetting all the things we can do.