“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”
To reap the benefits of a yoga practice, we must practice only for ourselves and no one else. Each of us needs something distinct from our yoga practice because each yogi’s body & mind is unique.
Some of us are more lengthier. Some of us are blessed with strong arms. Some of us have a history of dance or athletics with an innate sense of balance. But no two of us have the same genetic composition. Nor do we have the same history; life experiences, injury background, childbirth, or conditioning, all which contribute to the individuality of our body and mind.
And yet it is so easy to compare ourselves!
When we compare our own practice to that of others we lose the personal connection to our body that is so integral to the practice of yoga. To get the most out of our practice, we need to be in touch with how our body is responding to each pose. This is called the mind-body connection.
Only you can know your own body. You can listen to yourself in a way that no one else can -- not even your yoga teacher! You can enter a posture and notice if it creates undue tension in certain parts of your body. Then, you can adjust yourself to accomodate your needs.
When we begin to listen to our bodies we realize that our needs are simply that: needs. They are no better or worse than anyone else’s. To create the most joy on and off our mats, we must embrace our individuality and look after the person we know best: ourselves.
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