One of my favorite yoga instructors is Kelly. She will often say these words — If you can, you must — during her instruction. I’ve probably heard it from her dozens of times.
And a Bikram class, there will always be grueling difficult postures. For me, it’s usually dandayamana janushirasana.
Supposed to look like this. Mine doesn’t.
Anyway, Kelly might gently say, if you can, you must, during that worse moment of struggle in the posture.
And in that moment, the words always resonate with something in me. And I’m often able to complete the posture.
Of course, I know that I can complete the posture; when she speaks those words I feel that because I can, I must.
I posted the above meme on Instagram yesterday.
But as I thought more about it — as I really thought about it — I’m not sure it’s true.
Think about it. What’s hard for you? Quitting something you know isn’t good for you? Or starting something that you know is? Giving up your worst vice? Or, starting a daily habit that you feel will change your life for the better?
Can you merely stop the bad behavior or start the good behavior? As an act of pure willpower?
Bet you think you can.
Quitting having that late night bowl of ice cream doesn’t seem impossible. Spending less time on mindless social media surfing doesn’t seem impossible
But I’m not sure if we can just simply choose to stop some of our behaviors — “From this minute forward I will never waste time on Instagram” just seems lofty and unrealistic.
If we could, I’m sure we all would.
Aristotle talked about how we are steered but the rudders of pleasure and pain.
I guess what works in yoga doesn’t always work perfectly in real life.
But I will still go. Because I can.