Tuesday, September 30, 2014
How Yoga Teaches Us to Be Kinder to Ourselves
In yoga, as in life, it's easy to start making comparisons. Not only do we compare ourselves to others, we also compare our performance on a given day to how we performed last week, last month, or last year. In some situations this can be a helpful and even necessary exercise, but when measuring our abilities in yoga, it quickly becomes detrimental. Although some people make the physical aspect of yoga the central focus of their practice, we can deepen our relationship with yoga and with ourselves if we instead approach yoga as a way to achieve mental, emotional, and spiritual growth.
Even a student who has been practicing yoga only for a short time has probably noticed that some days his body blesses him with great balance or deeper flexibility, and some days he just can't reach his toes no matter what. Rather than getting frustrated when your practice fluctuates, you can use these changes as opportunities to learn to accept your body and live in the present moment. Adopting this approach, rather than comparing yourself to previous classes or even other yogis, can help you cultivate a practice of being kinder to yourself, both in yoga and in everyday life.