From an early age most of us have been taught that to be the best we can be means to push harder, work harder, and generally do better than everyone else. There’s a driving force, whether that be external or internal, that makes us strive for perfection or close to it. These kinds of thoughts lead us to a life of comparison. Many of us, myself included, are guilty of constantly comparing ourselves to others or even to what we think we should be. These thoughts aren’t serving us well, but rather clouding our days with unnecessary negativity. If this sounds familiar to you, then bringing some awareness to these kinds of thoughts can be the first step in changing your thinking. A life free from comparison is a journey worth pursuing. And yoga can help!
After being an athlete my entire life, yoga has been a huge shift away from the traditional workout regime I’m used to following. Typically in sports you’re pushed to win. And to win you have to train the hardest. Even group fitness classes, while hugely beneficial, can make you feel the need to push yourself to your maximum ability when in fact some days you just don’t feel like it. And that’s ok! There’s nothing lazy about it. In fact, there’s strength in being able to honor your body and step back when you need to.
That’s where yoga comes in. One of the greatest physical and mental benefits of yoga is honoring yourself and your body. Rather than pushing yourself one-hundred percent all the time, yoga encourages you to make your practice your own. If you’re feeling strong then maybe add in some extra work, but if it’s a hard day let yourself take an extra moment in child’s pose and rejoin the practice when you can.
Living a life free from comparison is something we should aspire to, not being the best. While it’s important to work hard, it’s equally important to honor yourself and your needs. So my challenge to you is to take that aspect of yoga into your everyday life. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take your own equivalent of a mental child’s pose. Maybe that means taking a walk, listening to a song that makes you happy, or even doing a quick yoga practice. Do something that recharges you, and feel the weight of comparison lift away!
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