There are many reasons why people practice yoga. Most of these reasons come under the heading of ‘personal development’ – perhaps we want to be able to relax, maybe we want to be more flexible, thinner, fitter, whatever it is, we want to change and with yoga positive change is certainly possible, which is a wonderful thing.
As we set our goals, however, it’s worth bearing in mind one key factor. We can only ever be ourselves. We may be able to become a more relaxed, more flexible, thinner, fitter version of ourselves, but we cannot be someone else. Ever. Through yoga practice we gradually come to learn about ourselves, about our nature, our strengths, our weaknesses, where there are gaps in our knowledge and understanding. Some aspects of ourselves we can change, others we must accept as we move into the fullness of our potential.
To put it another way, if you are a peach, be a peach. Be the best most unctuous, most juicy, peachiest peach you can be, but don’t try to be a banana (unless you are a banana).