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January 7

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Challenges in Yoga


Yoga has been a revealing journey for me, uncovering a flaw I never thought I had: being judgmental. It's a bit uncomfortable to admit, but what I appreciate about yoga is its power to bring our "dark" sides into the light.

Regular, mindful practice prompts a conscious examination of ourselves, pushing us to confront aspects like judgment. Understanding and embracing this flaw deepened my self-love and compassion for others.

Early in my yoga journey, I found myself unintentionally comparing and judging fellow practitioners. Yoga, I realized, isn't a competition; it's about aligning the body, developing better posture over time. I was too hard on myself, not just in yoga but in life, comparing my choices and lifestyle to societal standards.

Embracing our "dark" parts is challenging in a world that demands perfection. Acknowledging flaws, especially in a professional setting, is often dismissed. Yet, it's crucial. Yoga, mindfulness, and enlightening books helped me confront my judgmental tendencies, revealing they stemmed from insecurity or feeling inadequate.

Focusing and meditating during my practice allowed healing in the form of energy and love directed toward this part of me. Like the exhale in yoga, I had to let go, fully accept and love myself, initiating a beautiful process that opened my heart to the world.

The judgment might not vanish completely, but it's subdued. I've learned it's okay to feel inadequate or lost at times. Connecting on a deeper level with others, understanding we all face challenges, strengthens the bond of shared humanity. In the end, we're all seeking love and acceptance on this remarkable journey.

I return to my body and observe how the asana feels in my body.

Recently, my focus in yoga has shifted towards minimizing physical exertion. Stepping back from giving a full 100%, I've discovered that practicing at 80% effort feels remarkably better in my body. It enhances vitality and energy, allowing for deeper breaths and the flexibility to move within poses. This shift creates a spacious experience, both physically and mentally.

Maintaining this space enables me to ease into my thoughts. When my mind nudges me with thoughts like "you're not doing enough," I redirect my attention to my body. Releasing the tight grip in my body helps me release the grip of stressful thoughts, fostering a more enjoyable practice.

Rather than questioning, "Am I doing this right?" I've adopted the inquiry, "How does it feel?" If an asana doesn't align with the feeling of goodness in my body, what's the purpose? Forcing through won't make me stronger or more flexible. It's about honoring the body and relishing the experience of the practice.


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