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Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

There can be a tendency for Yoga practitioners and students to feel discouraged when a naturally gifted dancer, gymnast, martial artist, or even long-time yogi, performs an advanced asana with little effort. Instead of feeling envious and inadequate, you should send praise. Every individual is different with a different path to yours, born with a different body to yours, different training, psychology, biochemistry etc. So what if someone is born with elongated joint capsules and their extraordinary range of motion is fire. You and I may have to work at it, but the goal of Yoga is not the asana as you should know, it’s the journey to and through the asana, and all things require practice.

Many students who have extraordinary flexibility admit they struggle with other aspects of Yoga, such as the student who just can’t focus and meditate, or whose strength needs work, or their balance, their phobias, or limited knowledge of the yoga flow that is most beneficial for the body or specific body part.

Yes, many Yoga practitioners have a competitive mindset, some beginners never start because they get intimidated in a yoga class. But this perspective is limited in and of itself. It’s fear-based and serves nobody. Competition is healthy if you are competing against yourself. The best 100-meter athletes in the world, try to beat their own record times.

Remember that Yoga means “union.” In simple terms, we can say union of mind, body, and spirit. Competition against others is informed by the ego, and the ego is just a part of your personality. The ego resists union for its own survival. The ego is our social mask and does not want to share anything, so be aware when your ego is calling the shots and determine whether it can sit one out, and let your higher mind kick in to coast you along, unaffected by your environment and simply stay focused on your goal.

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