When you listen to yogis talk, a lot of them will mention bringing a sense of humor to your practice. What they mean is that you should have fun and not take yourself so seriously. You shouldn’t beat yourself up if you fall out of a pose. You should smile a little more when your muscles start to burn. Hell, maybe you should even laugh (maybe not in class, but if you are at home practicing… go for it).
Too many times we beat ourselves up when we try something and we fail. Too many times we get upset when something goes wrong and we let it ruin our day. Too many times we take life way too seriously and forget to find the humor and beauty in the journey.
So my suggestion? Laugh it off!
Whenever I go to work out, my dog Jack seems to think it means I’m playing with him. He jumps on me and accidentally scratches my stomach while I’m doing jumping-jacks. He shoves his gross toys in my face while I’m doing crunches. And most annoyingly, he thinks my yoga mat is his special bed and lays right in the middle of it whenever he can. It use to infuriate me. How am I suppose to find inner-peace if I can’t come into chaturanga dandasana at THIS VERY MOMENT because Jack is in the way?!?!?! Clearly this means my chakras will be ruined forever and I’ll never amount to anything. Life as I know it is basically over and I should just go sit on the couch and pout about it.
Then one day, rather than getting my panties in a bunch when Jack laid down under me while I was in downward dog, I just laid down on top of him and started laughing. And it felt so much better to be laughing rather than getting upset over something I can’t control.
The same goes for minor mishaps. You are going to make mistakes. As long as no one died or something.. why not just laugh it off and move on?
The truth is, life isn’t always going to be perfect. One day you might have the best workout of your life and the next day you might feel like you are going to die if you have to do one more bench press. One day you might be able to find that restaurant you wanted to go to with no issues, and the next day you might miss your exit in Seattle to get to Pike Place and end up going miles out-of-the-way because the GPS simply won’t update fast enough (true story). And guess what? It’s all ok. You’re not perfect. Life’s not perfect. And it doesn’t have to be. What matters is how you handle those imperfections. You can either get mad and scowl until your face burns, or you can accept that not everything is going to come out the way you want and simply laugh about it. The latter option sounds like a lot more fun if you ask me.
No good comes out of beating yourself up over the little things. So just smile, and carry on. Sure, mistakes might be annoying and it might take longer to get where you are going because of it, but wouldn’t you rather be smiling while you try to get there?