Befriending who we are already

“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are.” ~Pema Chodron

Although Pema is talking about Buddhist meditation in the quote above, I believe the same attitude applies to our practice of yoga. Whether we are practicing meditation, yoga postures, breathing exercises, or simply being present in the moment in whatever activity we undertake, it’s always about befriending the person we already are. It’s about accepting who we are in this moment just as we are in this moment.

So many of the self-improvement activities that I have tried through the years were attempts in one way or another to throw away some part of myself in order to become someone better. It’s never worked for me.

That’s where yoga has been so successful. Because it’s not about fighting myself or changing myself but only about meeting myself where I am with openness and curiosity, I am able to approach myself gently without defensiveness or resistance. In so doing, I find that through simple, curious observation of myself as I am in this moment, it opens me to shift into becoming more the person I am meant to be.

These shifts are often subtle, but over time they have created more positive change than anything else I’ve ever tried. It is this part of yoga that caused me to fall in love with it, and it is what draws me back to the mat time and time again to deepen that friendship with myself.