Most days in yoga, I only half-listen as the teacher recites her stock phrases about opening your chest like a flower petal blooming or flattening your body into a Japanese ham sandwich. I’ve got the routine and the recital down. There’s no need to really engage my brain with the narration, which most days might as well be a recording. Instead, I use that precious energy to focus on getting through class without dying, or to let my mind wander away from the steamy fluorescent glare of the studio.
Except once in a while, the teacher goes off on a tangent that may or may not be Bikram approved. And once in a great while, that tangent is mind-altering, and resonates beyond the 90-minute torture, and makes the time spent more than worth it.
That happened a few days ago in class. The instructor said that no matter how long we’ve stayed away from something, for whatever reason, it’s never too late to start from scratch. Since then, I’ve been mulling over that simple phrase. So many of my excuses for not doing something center around lack of practice, or lack of commitment. I can’t do X because I haven’t been doing it all along. I shouldn’t start Y because I really should have started long ago.
But what does that matter? Why let inertia dictate our pursuits and our accomplishments? Not doing something because you haven’t been doing it doesn’t make any sense. Not eating a healthy lunch just because you had cheesecake for breakfast doesn’t make any sense. Using a lack of history as an excuse not only doesn’t cut it, but it can also send you into a death spiral of potato chip dinners.
From now on, I’m going to be open to starting from scratch. To not letting ego or fear get in the way of trying new things, or going back to old ones.