We’ve all been there. Annoying as it is, comparison is one of those traps that almost every human will fall into at some point – even in the yoga studio. And nothing will take the joy from your practice than comparing yourself to the people on the mats around you. So here are some tips to help you come back to yourself when those intrusive thoughts start coming.
Get curious about your thoughts
When you have a mean thought about yourself – or a judgemental thought about someone else – don’t berate yourself or stuff it away. Instead, notice it. Try to become the observer of your thoughts. Let them come and go, without attaching to them and creating stories. Just think – ‘hmm, that’s an interesting thought’, and let it float away. Easier said than done I know, but practice practice practice.
Spend less time on Instagram
Our time outside of class directly influences our experience on the mat. If your Instagram feed is full of size 6 yogis doing the splits while standing on their hands while wearing €150 yoga pants, chances are you’re going to start judging yourself harshly in class for not living up to that. But I promise – being a size 6 yogi doing the splits while standing on your hands while wearing €150 yoga pants doesn’t make you any more or any less of a yogi, and unfollowing anyone who makes you feel less than great about yourself is really important.
That you even have the ability to come to a yoga class is AMAZING, so start there. ‘I’m grateful for my legs that carried me here. I’m grateful for my lungs that breathe. I’m grateful for my job that helps me pay for my membership. I’m grateful for my amazing body for carrying me through this practice.’ When you approach life – and your yoga practice – with an attitude of gratitude, everything starts to change for the better.
Close your eyes
This is the simplest way to come back to yourself and your own mat – if you find yourself being distracted by others just try this. I still do this in poses like seated forward fold when my ego comes out to play! Close your eyes and breathe. Let everything – and everyone – else fade away.
Remember that everyone’s human
Yes, even that size 6 yogi doing the splits while standing on their hands while wearing €150 yoga pants you follow on Instagram. They have their own life, struggles, and insecurities, and even though they might look perfect, no-one really is. And good thing too, because how boring would that be?