Off the Mat Yoga Popular

Why it’s Important to Stop Being Kind to Yourself

I am a kind person. I am very kind. A bit too kind, maybe. That is, to myself.

I get that this contradicts to everything you know about self-compassion, but bear with me. The thing is that when faced with challenges, it is both simple and easy to give up. Being too kind, telling you that it is alright to not aim for the big things, if you are too scared. This has both something to do with my yoga practice – and my life.

I have been kind for too long. Don’t get me wrong, I needed the kindness. In the beginning of my yoga practice kindness was the only thing that would have been accepted. I went easy on myself. I went to class and I did my best. I rested in child’s pose when needed. And it was needed.

But now times have changed. I am stronger. I know what I am capable of.

But I can still be too kind.

The truth is that the comfort zone is called a comfort zone for a reason – it is comfortable, all cozy and fluffy. But in the comfort zone nothing changed. That is why I have taken up a new mantra. A mantra for my yoga practice.

I will survive this.

So when I am holding my arms up in Warrior II and my body is screaming at me to just let go, because truthfully that position is at times more difficult than any arm balance, I recite my mantra: I will survive this.

And when I am working on my crow pose, which I tend to think is the scariest of them all, I recite my mantra: I will survive this.

I have stopped being kind. Stopped being kind when I know there is room to grow. Stopped being kind when I know I will not be getting anywhere if I just want to have a cozy time in yoga. Stopped being kind when I know what I am capable of and the drama queen inside of me will just need to deal with that.

I will survive this.

And with that in mind I move forward. I go over to the other side where the grass is greener, even though the bridge looks very unstable and dangerous. I stay, and I breath, and I wait. Because I know that this will pass. I know that a year from now I will look back and wonder why I thought this was so scary. I know that I will grow. I know I will be capable of great things.

I will survive this.

And yes I know, this mantra is very dramatic. It is just what I need. A mantra telling me how ridiculously dramatic I am being. A mantra telling me to just chill a little. A mantra showing me that it is all going to be alright.

I will survive this.

And I am seeing progress. My mantra is working. I go to yoga and I simply tell myself that today I will try my very best, and sometimes I even tell myself that I will try everything (even though I do not at all believe that I can do it). I fake it till I make it.

And as magically as you grow in yoga, this mantra follows me off the mat. I am facing my fears. I am trying my best. I am growing. By learning to deal with my craziest feelings in poses that make me want to scream and run away – I learn to deal with all other parts of life. I know that I will survive, that it is not that dangerous, and that I am being overly dramatic.

Of course, some days are kind days. Some days will always be like that. And that is alright. But I will not settle for the comfort zone anymore. I will not let my fears hold me back.

I am ready to fly.

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  1. Amanda


    September 25, 2016 at 6:19 am

    Go get it! 🙂 I love this. Sometimes I think the kindest thing we can do for ourselves is to push out of that comfort zone. It’s tough self-love, but still love. 🙂

  2. Avatar


    April 29, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Sorry, I disagree.. Being motivated to push through a tough issue and being kind to yourself are different.. Many people, especially those who experienced REAL trauma, do not know how to be kind to themselves because of the shame they feel.. They need to be kind to themselves. What your describing is not self kindness at all..

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