I hate when people ask me how long I’ve been doing yoga, because when I say nearly 20 years, I invariably get something like, ‘Wow, you must be really good then!”

The truth is, I’m not. When I first get on my mat in the morning I can barely touch my toes. I still have tight hips and even on a really bendy day can only just get my hands flat on the floor for uttanasana (forward fold).

The thing is, for me, yoga is no longer about achievement, it’s about compassionate accountability, self-love, and how it makes me feel. It’s about acceptance of wherever I happen to be on that day, and knowing that my worth isn’t defined by whether or not I can improve. It’s about taking time for me, being kind with myself, and doing something that feels nurturing.

I talked about compassionate accountability a lot to my clients over the last few weeks, as we all get a little tired and frustrated and attempt to beat ourselves into better versions of ourselves. When has that ever worked?! When I say that perhaps there’s an option where feeling better can come from holding ourselves accountable with compassion, instead of telling ourselves how useless we are, it’s often a tricky one to imagine ‘working’.

We can commit to ourselves, honouring our process, being curious and gentle with our resistance in order to understand and appease it (rather than beat it into submission), and hold ourselves accountable to loving ourselves enough to show up in the way we want. When we slip, we acknowledge, forgive and get curious about why. Then we love ourselves enough to commit again. It’s a process. It’s not perfect. Neither are you. That’s OK.