Sunday, March 30, 2014

Be Kind To Yourself

When we practice yoga, we need to learn how to practice kindness to ourselves in the form of self-compassion and self-love.

One thing I'm becoming painfully aware of as a new yoga teacher is how unbelievably harsh I can be with myself. I'm always comparing myself - comparing the classes I teach with what other teachers are doing, beating myself up for not meeting the expectations of the students...

I've come to realize that I have a really hard time accepting compliments from other yoga teachers and from students in my classes when they tell me that they've enjoyed my class. There's this part of me that thinks that they only say these things because they don't want to hurt my feelings, and that I'm really no good at yoga.

It's popping up in other areas of my life, as well: I'm a terrible mother, and no one wants to tell me. I'm really a lousy bead artist, but no one has the heart to tear apart my work the same way I do when I look at it. I'm a terrible friend, a terrible person, etc.

Part of this stems from some fear of mine that maybe I don't have anything to offer to the world. Maybe all I have to offer is chaos and dysfunction. Maybe I don't really belong up there, leading a class through a yoga practice...

I've been struggling a lot with fear this last week. It's just all been coming up in my yoga practice: a fear of moving too quickly, a fear of hanging upside down in forward bends, a fear of back bends where my head tips back down behind my shoulder blades.

I read somewhere that when things like this suddenly appear in your yoga practice, it means that it's time to let it go. So it's time to let go of the fear:

The fear that I'm not good enough.
The fear that I have nothing to offer.
The fear of failure.
The fear of rejection.
The fear of making mistakes.

I know that part of this fear comes from the feeling that no matter how much I think I know about yoga, it always surprises me. It always has a way of letting me know that there's a lot left for me to learn. The practice has a way of reminding me that this is, indeed, a journey, and not really a destination.

No comments:

Post a Comment