The people in my life have generally fallen into one of two categories, those who love The Princess Bride as much as I do, and those who do not. Anybody wan-a-peanut? If you giggled to yourself just now you fall into the former. Luckily for him, my husband does too. He doesn’t know every line quite the way I do, but he was equally excited about my walking down the aisle to the theme song from the movie at our wedding (nerd alert!). But his tolerance for a good romantic comedy, riddled of course with wit and sarcasm, only goes so far. And so, when he travels out of town for work, I take advantage of sneaking in a girlie movie and eating all the junk food I don’t want him to ever know that I actually consume.
His most recent trip away gave me the opportunity to see an adorable little film called About Time (from the makers of another favorite you may have heard of, Love Actually). In the film, Tim, a romantically challenged but incredibly charming Brit discovers that the men in his family are able to travel through time. They can’t change history, but they can change what happens in their own life- so, he decides to use his new found powers for the greater good by getting himself a girlfriend. Enter a nerdy but beautiful Rachel McAdams. Throughout the film, he learns the ripple effect of small acts and the harsh reality that some things are just simply outside of our own control.
You might be starting to ask yourself what on earth all of this has to do with yoga. Well, riddle me this: How many times have you wished you could relive a particular moment in time? Whether it was to change an outcome or just experience its joy over and over again? For most of us, it’s an inner monologue that happens almost daily, usually starting with the words, “If only…”. "If only I could be Princess Buttercup…" It pulls at us, stealing us from contentment and driving us further and further from the present.
As yogis, we often get caught up in the idea that a particular pose will somehow bring us closer to enlightenment, that mastering handstand will unlock the secrets of the universe and give us magical powers. The reality is, poses, like life, change daily. Some days the flow is effortless and others days the road is rocky. But the poses don’t hold the power, we do.
As the movie progresses, Tim discovers a pitfall in his powers (which I’ll avoid spoiling for you), and he learns the biggest secret of them all: You don’t need magical time traveling powers to in order to live life fully, you just need to be aware and present and allow yourself to receive the beauty in even the most mundane moments…and smiling at strangers helps too.
So, as Inigo would say, lemme sum up. Though it can sometimes seem inconceivable, every moment and every pose is already perfect just as it is, so long as we allow ourselves to be present in the experience of it.