It drives me crazy when someone is judgmental about who “qualifies” as a “proper” yogi. As if there is only one type of person who can practice or teach yoga!
One of the things I loved most when discovering yoga was how accepting and open it could be to anyone and everyone. There are so many other places in life where we’re judged. Your yoga mat should not be one of them.
Can we please stop picking each other apart for every little thing? It happens in social media all the time. Because someone can hide behind their keyboard, they think it’s okay to spit out criticism without repercussion.
The reality is: We all would be better off lifting each other up! Life is NOT a competition. It would be a much more beautiful journey if we spent it supporting each other.
Yoga is a Personal Practice
Yoga is an extremely personal practice. But due to hyper-exposure on sites like Instagram, it’s easy to get asana anxiety.
“Why can’t I hit that pose yet? How come I can’t do a one-handed handstand? Why can’t I touch my toes to my head in scorpion?” The insecure thoughts can go on…
Repeat after me: “I am exactly where I need to be in my yoga practice today.”
If you’re feeling benefits in flexibility and strength every time you walk away from your mat—that’s all you need.
Accept Exactly Where You Are in Your Yoga Practice Today
I’ve practiced yoga for more than 10 years and have seen significant growth and change since I first stepped back into down dog. I can still remember how sore I was from that first flow! Now, I feel strong and can take many of my poses to the next level.
But I’m nowhere near perfecting my inversions or the crazy arm balances I see more advanced yogis nailing on their feeds. And that’s OKAY.
My yoga teacher training is starting, and for the first time I’ll be practicing yoga five times a week, in addition to taking focused workshops and studying the background and principles of yoga. I can’t wait to see how my personal practice of yoga progresses, but in the meantime I’m honoring and appreciating exactly where I am today.
Focus on How You Feel on the Inside—Not How You Look on the Outside
This is one of the best pieces of advice I learned from a writing mentor, Shannon Kaiser. So often we’re doing things in a way to impress others or to live up to the ego we’ve built around past experiences and future expectations.
Catch yourself next time you’re narrating your present moment and thinking too much about how you appear to others (and even to your self-created ego). So many of us literally do this ALL the time. Enough is enough.
Bring yourself back to the present. How is what you’re doing right now, in this moment, making you feel?
This is especially important in your yoga practice. You should never push yourself so far that it leads to injury. Take the right steps slowly to progress in your poses and you will eventually get there when your body is primed and ready. Injury will only set you back further.
Get Your Yoga On Without Hesitation
Please remember, you’re perfect right now. Not until you perfect that asana. Not until you’re more flexible than the next yogi. In this moment.
Grab your mat and snap that yoga selfie without hesitation. Yoga is a beautiful practice that I truly believe every single person could benefit from. Let’s make sure everyone feels welcome to practice yoga in their own beautiful way and the world will be a healthier, happier place.