Whether you have been practicing yoga for many years or are still on the fence about trying a class, I've always found it helpful to treat my practice like a tomato plant.
Wait?? What???... Hear me out.
Think about what goes into planting a tomato plant. We don't just walk out our front door and haphazardly throw the seed anywhere and hope it grows. We find the right soil, in the right spot with perfect amount of sunlight, in a place where there is little or no wind. We tend to our little seed everyday, giving it water, maybe some fertilizer and for some of us we speak a few encouraging words. We nurture our little seed in hope that in a little while it will blossom into a beautiful little seedling. We don't expect to plant the seed today and have a blossoming plant full or fruit tomorrow.
Once our seedling sprouts we continue to nourish and nurture our little plant and patiently watch it grow. If it begins to look a little weak we give a little more or a little less water. We may also give it a little cage to support its branches helping it grow tall. We don't criticize our plant calling it stupid because it's not growing fast enough, or tall enough, or wide enough. We continue to support and nurture.
As our plant begins to produce tomatoes some are big and perfectly shaped, some are small, some have odd shapes and some may even be well, not that great. Kind of like life, some days are perfect, some days we feel small, some days we may be bent out of shape and other not feeling that well at all.
The point is.
We nourish and nurture our tomato plant. We give it support when needed and we don't rush it along. This is how we should approach our yoga practice. We should nourish and nurture ourselves, be patient, giving ourselves support and accepting the outcomes as they are.
By the end of your first day of kindergarten were you solving calculus problems? Did you get your collage degree in one day? Did you go out and run a marathon the day after you were born? No, first you rolled over, then started to crawl, then pulled yourself up with the help of a table or chair or human. Standing, oh, my God! So hard, but then you started to walk a few steps at a time.
It's yoga practice not yoga perfect.
Practice, a lifetime of practice, patience, and support.