Have you ever taken a yoga class? You know you are supposed to be breathing, and focusing inward, but you find yourself looking over at that freaking goddess cranking out her asanas with an effortless flow and it actually starts to piss you off. How can she be so perfect? How the F**k can she wrap her legs behind her neck like that? Is she made of rubber bands? Why does she not have an ounce of fat on her? I think most of us have been there.
Then we snap out of it and remember we are supposed to be focusing on ourselves, on our asanas, on our moving meditations. We re-center, breathe and try to channel some of what she’s got. Its hard not to look. It's hard not to covet.
This phenomenon happens outside of yoga class as well, especially when looking through the lens of social media. Filters are sneaky little devils, adding elements of unattainable perfection to those edited magical lives. These orchestrated snapshots in time can make us feel a bit unhappy with our own life, that five minutes ago seemed pretty dang good. I could tell you to stop going on social media, but I get it, especially this year.
But here’s the thing, comparison is a distraction. In yoga, when you are in tree pose, for example if you are looking around the room to see how everyone else is looks, you will fall over…guaranteed. Its not always easy to stay focused within, but it makes for a better yoga practice, and a more balanced life. This has been one of my favorite lessons, one I have shared countless times with my students, my friends, and with my own children. Whether its your yoga practice, work life, home life, or your relationships, no matter what stage of life, this helpful mantra applies”; stay on your yoga mat”.
Comparing yourselves to others can leave us feeling inferior, (or superior if you happen to be goddess girl), and maybe we need to cut ourselves a little slack. We can (and should) observe and be inspired by others, and then, by focusing within, we can find our own balance both on and off the mat. See the light in the goddess, but don’t miss out on that bright light right there where you are standing. Namaste.