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Day 7 has passed and today, Day 8.  Being a week in to the Challenge I’m feeling a bit tired.  Somewhat challenged.  But my only obstacle is myself.  Picking myself up and getting to my mat. Once there, I’m instantly in the groove.

There is a video that’s gone viral on the internet the last couple of days.

Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years, and was told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again.
He stumbled upon an article about Diamond Dallas Page doing Yoga and decided to give it a try — he couldn’t do traditional, higher impact exercise, so he tried DDP YOGA and sent an email to Dallas telling him his story.
Dallas was so moved by his story, he began emailing and speaking on the phone with Arthur throughout his journey – he encouraged Arthur to keep going and to believe that anything was possible. Even though doctors told him walking would never happen, Arthur was persistent. He fell many times, but kept going.

I’m not sure I would be able to help someone with his level of disability, if they walked into the studio where I was teaching.  I might have to suggest a more experienced teacher work with him as I’m still somewhat new to this and wouldn’t feel confident in my ability to help.

However, I do know there are a lot of people out there who are in almost similar situations that I can help. They are inexperienced, out of shape, overweight, unsure of themselves, shy, younger, older, stressed, living with various degrees of unwellness or pain.

They feel like I did a couple of years back.  Wanting to give yoga a try but unable to bring themselves to walk through the doors of the studio, vulnerable to what they might meet there.

They don’t want to be exposed.  They want to hide out in their little corner of the room while they find their way. They want role models they can identify with.  They want to feel success.  They want to be accepted, just like Arthur in the video.

I sometimes second guess myself whether I’m being too easy, too gentle, in my teaching.  Thinking I need to step it up a bit, challenge people more.  For some, perhaps.  And at times I do.  But I work mostly with beginners and more than anything I want to ease them into this practice.  I want them to grow into it slowly, successfully.  I want to allow them to see and feel it’s benefits and THEN let them know that there’s plenty of challenge and growth available to them if that’s what they’re looking for. Physically, emotionally and/or spiritually.

But first, they need to know they are okay just as they are.  They don’t have to do anything in particular.  Or spectacular.  To gain approval from me, from others, from themselves.

They can breathe.  They can move.   That’s enough to begin.

So for them or anyone else who’s feeling tired, or burdened or having difficulty staying with whatever your struggle might be,

“Don’t wait until everything is just right […] There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger….”

– Mark Victor Hansen

What challenges do you face?  Did you struggle to practice today?  What helped you through it?  I’d love to hear how you get through your obstacles.