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Lizzie’s Yoga Challenge, Day 18: Doing the best we can

Rather than attending the Lovely Helen Stylianou’s Iyengar class at Indaba this morning, I spent the morning playing pirates, singing songs and taking my son to the library. Nevertheless, by 11:30 I found myself back at Triyoga Primrose Hill preparing for Mercedes’ Vinyasa 2-3 class. I had met Mercedes before on a few occasions and heard about her classes from friends but never had the opportunity to practice with her myself, until today.

Mercedes offers a fun, flowing and physically challenging vinyasa class that provides options for a wide range of practitioners. The sequencing is creative and fast paced, and for those looking to move in free-form vinyasa class without detailed alignment instruction and without holding into postures for too long, it offers a nicely integrated mix of movement and playtime for advanced postural work.

With an infectious smile and authentic ability to laugh throughout class, Mercedes managed to keep the practice lighthearted and down to earth, even while demonstrating challenging after challenging posture with ease, poise and grace. We all have different and unique bodies, and while inspiring to watch a flexible and beautifully proportioned practitioner moving in and out of advanced poses, my practice on this day was about playing in the space of where the body feels good rather than surrendering to the critical mind’s ability to focus on what the body can or can’t do. Our responsibility to ourselves as yogis is to listen to our bodies and honor what feels appropriate on any given day rather than getting caught up in the act of ‘doing’ or ‘performing’ (or trying to perform) asana. After all, each day provides us with the opportunity to simply do the best we can.

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