It’s Not About The Pose, It’s About The Approach

I’m not a yoga-inspired person. I love the idea of it, know and recognize the benefits, therefore I try to make sure I keep up with it. “Try” being the operative word, of course. Given my personality, I want to do it properly. Not kind of properly, not sort of properly, just properly.

The problem with this kind of personality is taking the pose in yoga more seriously than taking the approach to it, and I tend to have the same thinking about people. When I agree with someone on committing to a certain action, I’ll ensure I do it and do it properly. I believe in my word so much that I assume other people are the same. But sometimes, like in yoga when we get the pose wrong or slightly off, we take someone’s words more seriously than we should.

Here, in this thinking, I’m not talking about broken promises or long-term commitments that are in actuality out of our control. I’m talking about the simpler, everyday commitments. The “Yes, of course I’ll meet you tomorrow,” or “This is what I’d like from you” (then being replaced as if you weren’t even asked). Generally, the excuse I’ve heard often is “It’s just her, it’s okay, she won’t mind.” Too much focus on the pose, not enough on the approach.

In having this done often enough, a certain level of resilience and full detachment has been built. In order to commit to the approach of “not minding because it’s just her,” I find myself detaching often from those close to me who do not follow through with their words. Instead of dealing with the hurt of being treated as if I’m not good enough, I fall back on the logic that people are allowed to change their minds and human beings are shitty at communicating when this happens.

The logic is followed, of course, by a dissection of the reasons why I would have believed them in the first place, the reasons why they potentially have “forgotten” their own ask or my own understanding of the ask. In trying to get the pose right for someone whose words I can trust and someone I can believe won’t just one day say, “It’s just her, it’s okay, she won’t mind,” I change my focus on the approach and come to accept that when people are in a state of emotion, whether it’s happiness or joy or sadness or anger, believing their words and committing to their ask of you or themselves sets both up for the wrong pose. This means following the wrong approach, committing to the wrong pose and pain inevitably follows. In yoga, it’s generally physical pain. In my believing that people want their actions and words to be as properly as possible, it ends up being emotional pain.

I stopped believing what people say years ago. It doesn’t mean it hurts less when they do not follow through, but it does mean I can give myself a consolation pat-on-the-back prize that I was right. Is it the right pose? Probably not. Would a better approach be to express how I feel? Probably.

But as one learns that it takes time to master poses, it’s the same with approaches. And while there’s one pose to perfect, there are many approaches to attempt in finding the one that resonates with your being.