I’ve read about the competitive spirit creeping its way onto your yoga mat. It shoves aside your ujjayi breath, knocks you off-balance and has you glancing furtively at the other people in the class instead of on your drishti. I’ve been noticing myself with this companion over the past few weeks. She doesn’t join me for every class, but if there is a class involving arm balancing (which I fear) or a pose that I am struggling, she seems to come around to taunt me and ensure I feel lousy and in comparison with others in the class.
Most classes, I am content to keep myself centred and focused on what is happening in my space. My little rectangle of movement, breath and meditation. Other times, I’m in an all-out put-down of my balance, my rotation, my breathing, my…whatever.
These times are the ones that can teach us the most about ourselves. How do we choose to refocus, to bring ourselves back to our movement, breath and meditation? How can we become aware of what are triggers are and pre-emptively focus so we don’t find ourselves there to begin with?
Perhaps it starts with our intention when I enter the space. There is often a waiting period before any class begins. Rather than wonder who is coming in the door or who is setting up their mat next to me or even what the class will bring, I choose to sit in Hero Pose or Easy Seat and focus on my breath. I set an intention to remind myself that I am on my own journey of inspiration, practice and fun.
Maybe it is during the course of a class. When faced with a particularly challenging pose or practice, go within. Remind myself of my intention and commit to my drishti, rather than what is happening across the room. Accepting where I am in relation to myself and only myself means being completely present in what is happening at that very moment.
I know most people will find themselves here eventually. I’m curious…what do you do when you lose focus and start the comparison game?
More tips for how to combat this here.