WHAT DOES ‘DO YOUR BEST’ MEAN? You hear it at school, home, work. Is it just a filler? Something people say when they don’t know what else to say? It is ubiquitous and maybe doesn’t even sound like much of a spiritual or philosophical concept when you hear it in Yoga school. Listen. We don’t do fillers! Our time is with you limited and we want to make sure we are giving people a positive feed, useful information or encouragement in the short time we have with them so EVERYthing has a deeper meaning. The following is our take on what ‘Do Your Best’ means in class at YM.
WHY ‘DO YOUR BEST’? It is how you take control of your life and 100% what will make you feel happiest and most satisfied that you are giving the best expression of your unique self. Doing ‘Your Best’ you are taking charge and living your life to the fullest. It is just so personal. You are doing ‘Your Best’ not for any reward but because you want to and you LOVE it. In Bikram Yogasana we practice Aparigraha (non attachment) i.e. we are not attached to the end result or show; you get the result anyway, but we just don’t focus on it as a future point or dwell on it as a past point. On your mat it is not about end game, it is about the moment, the process, the purity of effort, the love of ‘having a go’.
HOW TO ‘DO YOUR BEST’ AT YOGA SCHOOL …
- Turn Up Buttercup! Your practice is your way of saying ‘I Love You’ to your body. Doing what makes your body and ultimately your mind FEEL GOOD. Make doing ‘Your Best’ your new practice (just like you would practice anything else). Practice it until you master it and it just becomes an attitude and then you simply ‘do it’ as a matter of course.
- Acknowledge and Accept ‘Your Best’ is different every day, every class, from one moment to the next (influencing factors include sleep/eat/drink/work/health/emotion/etc). So YES, the quality of ‘Your Best’ CHANGES; as is the nature of things. In doing ‘Your Best’ you accept yourself in the moment and where you are at in your practice/body and it is fine.
- ‘Your Best’ in context of our class setting MUST include pacing yourself…. Find your happy pace from moment to moment, action to action. Never sacrifice the joy of the work and the moment. Always be alert to opportunities to learn from mistakes. In this mindful practice you will develop awareness and better instinct for it over time you will be working smarter not harder.
HOW CAN YOU GET ‘DOING YOUR BEST’ WRONG? It is possible to misunderstand what ‘Best’ is! The ‘A type’ is the perfect example of sometimes getting ‘Best’ wrong. They call it their best when they subject themselves to severe self torture/guilt/judgement if they are not going flat out every single minute because they want to be further along, to be ‘better’ right now. That is how they approach everything in life and refuse the opportunity to change up their modus operandi when they step on the Yoga mat. It can take years to talk them out of that approach. They are missing a fundamental point. Not all postures should be approached the same way and if a posture is more challenging than others you must modify your approach/attitude. Don’t draw on all your reserves, leaving nothing for what you know is to follow; that approach will waste your prana, fatique you early in the class, cause suffering and actually slow down your making progress in the long term and in this respect what ‘A type’ deemed ‘Best’ in the moment was actually not good enough.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU HAVE DONE YOUR BEST? You feel it. We know because as Instructors too WE PRACTICE this too and when we turn up to practice or instruct we always do our best; whether we have 3 or 20 Yogis in front of us nothing less than our best will do! Doing our best doesn’t feel like a chore because it is just something you do. Even if you don’t get your action/attempt right all the time, but you did ‘Your Best’, then there will be no regrets only satisfaction.
IF ‘DOING YOUR BEST’ IS AN ‘ATTITUDE’ HOW CAN ‘A TYPE’ PEEPS APPROACH BE WRONG OVER APPROACH OF PERSON WHO WORKED TO MASTER IT? The proof is in the pudding. Outcome of ‘Doing Your Best’ is there is no mental room for your inner judge to find you guilty of not doing your best 🙂
Om Om Om In our room ‘Your Best’ is always good enough…
Back to School! 6 Sept 2022