Coming to the yoga mat as you are, is preparation for going out into the world as you are. Yoga practice can bring up feelings awkwardness, weakness, not being as good in some way as the person on the next mat, and not as far along in our practice as we would like to be. But the true practice of yoga is to witness these thoughts and emotions and let them pass by, rather than being invested in them; to observe who you really are without judgement or expectation.
Witness and Release Negative Thoughts
Most of us have hundreds of negative thoughts about ourselves each and every day. We don’t like what we see in the mirror and call ourselves names like idiot without even noticing how we are abusing ourselves. Yoga is letting go of self criticism. Learning to embrace every aspect of your true self, not just tolerating, embracing. Some people get hung up on the physical practice, but the poses are tools to free tension from the body so that the mind can follow.
We don’t expect a tree to be anything other than a tree. Why do we expect to be something other than who we are?
Practice, Patience, Non-Striving
The journey is not quick or straightforward. It’s practicing over and over again; watching your breath and your thoughts. Breath by breath letting go of who you think you should be. Letting go of who you think others think you should be. Working to move forward without striving, without greed, with gratitude for wherever you are in the moment. Learning to love and accept exactly who you are without judgement and expectation on the mat and in your life.