Competition and yoga not two words I would put together as there is absolutely no competition in this practice. I say this quite often to a group of teenagers I teach in a sports school as they can be quite competitive with each other. Who can do the posture the best, who can hold it the longest? But the last few weeks I have noticed as we reach our final term of the school year that this competition has disappeared from their practice. What I have witnessed now is this group of teenagers taking their attention inwards and focusing on their own practice and not what everyone else is doing around them.
I never really have to talk about competition in my younger classes and I wonder at what point do we start thinking we need to be better or beat the person next to us?
The last two days I have thought about this a lot. I have a back injury that keeps reoccurring and stopping me from moving my body in the way I would like too. The pain comes from trapped emotions and trauma but that is a story for another blog 😊 After two weeks of no yoga practice yesterday I decided to go to Pilates and before I went in, I told myself not to push my body to a place which would make my injury worse. So, I did what I had set out to do but unfortunately, I could not finish the class not because I did not want too, but because I started crying as I let the mind chatter take over and make me feel so unworthy. So today I went back to take a hot yoga class and felt like such a failure because I again could not move how I would normally move and thought everyone around me is going to think that I should be able to do it all because I am a yoga teacher. So, I let the mind chatter take over once again and had myself in competition with everyone else in the room who I can guarantee did not bat an eyelid at what I was or was not doing. Now even though I know that yoga is about my practice and nobody else it still does not stop this thought from creeping in time to time. When I do not have an injury and I cannot do a posture in class It does not bother me but when I have an injury it takes such a negative effect on me, and I feel that ego creeping in (the competition.
I am sure at one point or another we have all felt a little bit competitive in class, but I wonder the correlation between our mindset and competition. The last two days I have listened to negative chatter and let it overwhelm me and then I step into a class where I feel like I am a terrible yoga teacher because I cannot even stand in tree and then as the day goes on a I have multiple conversations and release some emotion, I start to feel more positive and actually do not care if I can stand in tree or I have to take a break because my body is asking me too. So, then the competition is removed because I feel more positive.
Be kind to yourself and remember your yoga practice is sacred and is your own and what the person next to you is doing really does not matter. Be thankful to be able to move your body in anyway that feels good for you. Take the ego out and do not forget to honour what your body needs and allow yourself to bloom at your own pace. Create unity with the people around you and watch the magic happen.
Love & Magic Always