You may have heard this saying before while reviewing Instagram stories, a Facebook feed, or in a yoga class. This past month was a blur and as it sped to an end I found myself frustrated with the fact that I hadn’t created more time for yoga, meditation, or to simply cook at home. Also, when I did come to my mat I found myself comparing myself, my practice, and my energy level to the people around me. Negative thoughts flooded my mind and then my ego would take over and I was no longer practicing yoga or developing as a whole person I was just moving along in class like a judgmental robot. We have all been in this moment of movement without mindfulness and it takes stillness of the mind and genuine consciousness to find peace and calmness in the mist of reckless thoughts. Yogis today I give you three areas to dig deep into when the wave of comparisons start to flood your mind.
Practice Gratitude: I was recently reminded by a new friend and fellow teacher that whatever you focus your energy on grows deeper and takes root in your mind and soul. Hence, if you are comparing yourself to the yogi on the next mat you can’t find peace, joy, and tranquility in your own journey. Therefore, find time to practice gratitude and solace in the practice you are cultivating or the individual that is developing internally and externally.
Focus on self-love: The world we live in is always tellings us that we need MORE and should be MORE, but I say focus on all the greatness that is within you as an individual. As some of you might know I’m a Librarian and I believe Dr. Seuss had is right when he wrote, “Today you are YOU, that is TRUER than true. There is NO ONE alive who is YOUNGER than YOU!” So basically love what is amazing, beautifully unique, and perfectly imperfect about you. The Dhammapada said, “As we think and act, so our world becomes.”
Breathe Deep: It might seem easy…just breathe! However, so many people don’t breathe and they definitely don’t breathe deeply. In times of stress and frustration if you focus on breath and how you are using your breath then there is no other time to think about comparing. When I practice with new students I remind them to send energy to the tight places in their body, but as yogis both new and old we should all learn to use our breath to calm our minds from racing and be in the moment of gratitude.