What Yoga Taught Me About Self

Mind Your Mat

I am well into my forties and up until a year ago, I found it a struggle to connect with yoga.  I tried to rationalize why.  It wasn’t challenging enough (boy was that a lie), it wasn’t aggressive enough.  It’s too quiet.  But the real reason was I felt I wasn’t good at it because I was comparing myself to students that had been practicing for many years. So instead on focusing on self and developing my own practice, I came up with an array of excuses.

What I said: “Yoga isn’t aggressive enough”.  What I meant “The only way I know how to deal with self and with other people is to be aggressive.  Confrontational.  I am not a good listener to self or others”.

What I said: “It’s too quiet” What I was really saying: ” I don’t know how to or I don’t feel comfortable with sitting with self”.

What I said: “I’m no good at this”. What I was really saying: “The girl on the mat next to me is better at this than I am. I wish I was more like her”.

Yoga is one of the most individually unique practices that exist. The very foundation of yoga is the breath.  Your breath is what connects you to your body, to Mother Earth, to the Collective.  Every one of our bodies is so completely different from every other person.  From structure to flexibility etc. so our capabilities will all be different.  When we Mind our own mat, we are able to optimize our practice.  We are able to expand ourselves, our lives, unlike any other human on this planet.  However when we mind other peoples mat, we miss the blessings and opportunities that are happening in our own bodies.  This is what happens in life.  Sometimes we find ourselves comparing ourselves to others so much, we miss the greatness in our own lives.

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