What I Learned in Yoga Class

The other day a few friends from work and I decided to take a class at a yoga studio near our office. We didn’t really get the memo that the class was not exactly a beginner class. It was more along the lines of intermediate/advanced and it was HARD. But at the same time it was awesome. I struggled to keep up with these girls in their Lululemon yoga pants doing perfect crow poses (or whatever) but at the end I felt good and refreshed. Our instructor closed out the class, as yoga instructors usually do, with a little inspirational thought. She told us to be compassionate towards ourselves. She explained that we are often our own toughest critics and beat ourselves up over everything, so it’s important to give yourself a break and be compassionate.

She brings up an excellent point. It’s so easy to be critical of yourself and not even realize it. You criticize your body, your inability to learn a new skill fast enough, your dating/relationship choices, anything and everything. Negative comments can pop up so quickly you may not even realize you’re thinking them. But they start to stockpile in the back of your mind and can be really damaging. If you think about it, we’re probably tougher on ourselves than we would be on any other person. There’s no way you would critique your friends body, appearance, dating history, lack of physical fitness, fears, lack of career plans, etc. all at the same time. It just wouldn’t happen. But doing that to yourself? No problem. All of those thoughts can probably cross your mind in one day.

After thinking about this, I’m trying to cut myself a break. We’re young. We don’t have to have it all figured out. Even when you’re older, no one is perfect. It’s easy to be your own worst enemy but life is so much nicer if you can get past that and learn to accept that you’re doing your best. Hold yourself to a high standard, but not an impossible one. Just a little thought to start your week off right.

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