Yoga is not a competitive sport, nor is there any shame in relaxing into Child’s Pose when a posture becomes too strenuous. But even though I’ve been practicing yoga for seventeen years, there still are times when I find this difficult to remember—times when I glance around the studio as I’m setting up my mat and make mental notes about the relative fitness of my classmates in order to see where I rank in comparison. If I judge myself not to be the least in shape and/or chubbiest, I take it as a personal victory. If I am, it’s a great reminder to practice loving kindness. And maybe some day, if I keep on practicing it, I won’t feel the need to rank myself at all.
So I was proud of myself yesterday, when I walked into a yoga class I’d never been to before—in southern California, no less!—and snagged myself a spot right up front. If my fellow classmates wanted to judge me, so be it. Though anyone distracted by my flabby parts should probably spend a little more time (soft)focusing on their own practice.
It was a blissful class, and afterwards, I was happily surprised when two of my classmates complimented me on my practice and asked how I learned to do Crow. Because these two gorgeous 20-somethings with 0% body fat couldn’t do Crow Pose and I totally could! Not that I’m judging anyone.