Have you ever caught yourself comparing your yoga pants to the yogini next to you or admiring a “co-yogini’s” level of flexibility that you think you might never reach in yoga class? If your answer is yes, then you need to stop right now. There are many benefits of practicing yoga with other like minded people, but if you keep comparing yourself with others, you might miss on some of these benefits. Yoga is much more than simple health and fitness and surpasses even the benefits of healthy eating plans. Don’t let competitive thinking get in your way of enjoying a yoga session. To help you stop comparing yourself in yoga class, we offer you these 7 useful tips:
- Ditch the guilt
Guilt is a tricky thing when we are on the road to self-improvement. Once we notice our shortcomings like constantly comparing ourselves with others, we tend to make things even worse by adding guilt to our troubles. The same is true when you adopt healthy eating plans and when you feel guilt if you fail to follow a diet. Guild never helps in such situations. Instead, what we should do is observe these thoughts and try to understand why we are getting them in the first place. One of the purposes of yoga is to improve self-awareness without the intrusion of judgment. Become the observer and you might witness these silly thoughts wither away.
- Remind yourself why you took the class
You are well aware that you took up yoga to improve your health and well-being and not to become obsessive about how you look while getting into impossible postures. Once you notice that you are comparing yourself with others, try to remember why you took up yoga and what your initial goals were. Did you take up yoga to improve your health and well-being or to get into the exact same pose like your classmate?
- Be forgiving
Another purpose of yoga is to develop a compassionate mindset towards yourself and others. Thinking that you are not good enough for not being able to do the bridge pose is unnecessary violence towards your self-esteem. Instead, become compassionate towards your body and let it develop flexibility gradually. We are conditioned from our childhood years to be competitive in this world but yoga is not a competition. In fact, competing in yoga is missing the purpose of yoga, and comparing yourself with others is contradictory to this peaceful practice.
- Become insightful
Sure, your yoga classmate can hug their feet while doing the forward bent but you can do many things as well. You can walk to your yoga class, you can find the time to practice yoga, you can see, you can move, you can feel. There are so many aspects of your life that make it worth living and yoga is meant to enhance your understanding of this. Once you reach the point where you understand that yoga postures aim to help you gain better insight into your body and yourself, you will stop comparing yourself with others.
- Look at others as inspiration
You can take the opportunity of your yoga class to look at others as inspiration on your own journey. Humans are social creatures and we cannot survive in this world alone. Look at your fellow human as an inspiration and admire their ability and effort in mastering the various yoga postures. And remember, everyone who has mastered the most complex yoga postures managed to do so after years of practice. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can get there too if you are patient enough.
- No two people are alike
The beauty of everything in life is versatility. You are unique and so is your health and fitness journey. This is true for everyone in your class. Comparing yourself to others means you are making assumptions about the other person and yourself that probably aren’t true. And we know that yoga also means becoming aware of the trick our mind plays. Don’t assume, just observe.
- Don’t focus on the end results
It might seem contradictory but focusing on your end goals while doing yoga might make you miss out on some of the benefits of yoga. Yoga is meant to help you focus your mind on the here and now while goals set your mind into an imaginary future. When you look at a classmate and think this is my goal, you are not really appreciating the benefits you are getting from today’s class.
The purpose of yoga is to establish tranquility of the mind and bring balance to the body. Yoga is about reaching your full potential that is unique to you and you alone. Comparing yourself with others will not help bring peace to your mind and you will miss out on the many benefits of going to a yoga class. Alongside healthy eating plans, yoga is a great way of enhancing your health and fitness.
Vaileria Dennis is a Health and Beauty expert, having 10 years of experience in Beauty industry and providing healthy living tips. She is also passionate about fitness, women’s issues and more. In recent years, she has had an opportunity to learn about Food and Nutrition. She always excited to share her ideas related to beauty tips, healthy food recipes, and diet plans. Join Vaileria on Twitter, Facebook and G+
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