The dilemma of vanity and yoga

I went into my class tonight really eager and energized to get back on the mat. I’ve become aware of increased control over my lower core (thighs and hips) because of my new jogging regime. That strength gets reflected in my balancing poses because there is a firmer foundation to build on. I can hold something like Lord of the Dance (Natarajasana) pose (with a strap to pull my raise leg higher) for more than 30 seconds without wobbling, and I can transition in and out of the pose more smoothly.

This sense of enhanced power and skill is something new for me & and a bit bewildering. On one hand, I feel as if I’m falling into a trap of vanity and pride, that I am betraying the very mindset necessary for practicing yoga. On the other hand, this confidence and enthusiasm are what propel me to get back on my mat, make me aware that there are really changes taking place in my body and my mind. This contradiction is paralleled in my practice by the conundrum of strength and flexibility, rigidity and suppleness.

I don’t have an answer for this dilemma right now. But I do get another chance to respond the next time I get on the mat.