You know that voice you have, the one that talks to you from time to time pointing out all the things you did wrong, all the ways in which you are not good enough or are not like everyone else? You know that ego voice that is harsh and critical of virtually everything you do. Yes, that voice. We all have it. Some of us fall victim to it far more easily than others, but we all suffer as a result of that voice in some way or another. And in yoga class is no exception.
Fact – we all get in our own heads, that’s a given, and our ego voice can create some pretty amazing stories that, if we listen to them, can really mess with our yoga practice. You have no balance. You aren’t flexible. You missed class last week. You can’t do that pose like the person next to you and she’s new to yoga. You aren’t in good enough shape to be doing yoga. You can’t hold that pose without shaking. You can’t relax your muscles. You can’t relax your mind.
And it goes on and on for the duration of the class…some days worse than others. We have all been there. So we need to learn to be compassionate with ourselves and give ourselves permission to allow our yoga practice to be whatever it is each day, rather than listen to that voice that would have us believe otherwise.
Give yourself permission to not be like everyone else, to miss a class from time to time when you just aren’t feeling up to it, to not be the same every day, to be stiff, to be off balance, to not be able to do every pose, to not do a pose like everyone around you can, and yes, to even give yourself permission to be in our heads in the first place. Compassion, understanding, permission, and forgiveness…these are the foundation of a healthy relationship with ourselves, both in yoga and in life in general.
So the next time that voice is coming at you strong, take a deep breath, smile, recognize what is happening, and then let it go. Know you and your yoga practice are just perfect as they are. Namaste.
Bobbi Billman, Ignite Yoga & Wellness Owner