We have all seen magazine and Internet pictures of people in crazy yoga poses and we have all thought, ‘I wish I could do that’.
And in a class, we sneak a glance to the people around us to see who we believe is ‘better’ at the pose.
We use these images to make judgements about ourselves, but they are counter to what a yoga practice is all about. Yoga is about working on the inside and being where we are, at that moment.
So let’s discuss why we feel insecure in our practice and how can we stop this competitive cycle and find peace in ourselves.
Accept Every Body is Different
All bodies are different, as are the ways that the poses work with our bodies. There are some things that I just can’t do. And that’s okay!
Part of yoga is accepting yourself and this is a good place to start: accept that your body is yours to work with and appreciate where you are. Not only is your body different from others, but it is different from day to day.
There are modifications for a reason. Take them up as you need/want them. You know your body better than anyone, so listen to and acknowledge it.
Find a Practice that Fits
There are many different types of yoga classes, both styles and levels. Insecurity, and therefore a feeling of envy or competition, will arise when you aren’t conformable. So, find a style and level of practice that works for you. The more comfortable you feel with what you are doing will help you pay less attention to who you are doing it with and how they are doing.
Yoga is an inward journey, so work on finding piece within yourself. Someone else’s practice has nothing to do with your own.
Does it really matter for your inner awareness what your neighbor’s level is? No.
And actually, it likely makes your task of understanding yourself more difficult.
Use your breath and the feelings you get while in the pose to explore yourself, not the feelings you get when seeing someone else in the pose.
Yoga should be a highlight of your day, not a downside.
Taking the time for you is important, and if you use that time comparing yourself to others, you will lose out on precious time to enjoy you.
Make your practice fun. Let yourself play. Find edges of the envelope that you can push.
Embrace the Community
The yoga community is caring and kind. Embrace those around you. They are friends, not competition.
Show yourself the same kindness that you show others.
Know that you are exactly where you should be and let yourself be there.