Last week, I got to the studio to film a HIIT workout feeling excited + ready to give it my all. As I started to film, I realized I was in for something much more challenging than what I had rehearsed at home off camera.

As I struggled through the combination of high-intensity moves, trying to instruct my way through it, my heart pounding out of my chest, gasping for my breath + sweat melting my face away, I felt naked on camera. I felt vulnerable, exposed + extremely imperfect.

Instead of quitting in the middle of the workout due to thoughts in my head like, “This sucks. I suck. I’m not good enough. I can’t do this,” I kept going + was honest in the way that I felt. So honest that at one point in the video I mutter, “I don’t know about you, but I’m dying.” I was not looking effortless + at ease like some other instructors. I was visibly struggling. And I decided not to redo the video, getting someone else to do the workout while I instructed, because I wanted to show the strength + struggle of a real person moving through it. I wanted to show the imperfection + honesty.

One of my favorite quotes that I have posted on my wall is, “Imperfection is a form of freedom.” (Anh Ngo)

When we let go of striving for unattainable perfection, we find freedom in just being as we are, right now. We open up + let go of our tight grasp.

There’s a powerful line in Danielle LaPorte’s White Hot Truth:

“Can you imagine not craving to be different than you are right now?”

This hits home + shakes me awake. So many of us are constantly searching to improve + “become our best self.” And it’s f***ing exhausting!

Can we just be as we are, right now? However we are showing up, whether it’s on our mat or out in the world. Even if it’s messy + sweaty + unsteady.

Can we relax into the moment, into ourselves + give up trying, striving, proving, improving + becoming? Even just for right now, just for today.

Can we accept what is, in this moment, just as much when it’s ugly, imperfect, chaotic, dark, uncomfortable, as when it’s beautiful, magical, joyful, steady, easy + light?

Can we just let ourselves be as we are + let this moment be as it is, right now?

This is freedom.

And I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be authentic + free than endlessly striving for perfection.

I believe that getting on the mat is one of the best ways to practice embracing imperfection, letting go of comparison + showing up as you are now with honesty, integrity + authenticity. Getting on the mat is a practice of self-acceptance, awareness + non-judgment. It’s a practice of staying with what’s uncomfortable to expand, move forward + free yourself of blockages.

Show up to your mat + if it so happens that today you are challenged much more than other days, let it be. Let yourself fall down + tumble on your face. Let your body shake. Let your face (and all your masks) drip down onto the mat. Let your heart beat + breath truly get your attention. Let your yoga or whatever practice/workout it is, be expressed as your imperfect, authentic self in the moment. Because that is enough. That is more than enough.

Show up. Do your best. Own it. Let it be. Let it go.

Stay with what is + watch yourself expand + open into freedom.

Less striving. More living.

Be who you are. Live fully now.