I recently had a great conversation with one of my yoga students. Well, I actually have lots of those, but I’ve been thinking about this particular one for a while since.
My student shared with me that, until she tried a Curvy Yoga class, she had no idea how much time and energy in her yoga practice was caught up in judgment. She shared that she often felt like an outsider in other classes — whether through others’ looks or comments or the class not offering what she needed. She then said that it was incredible to be able to be in a space where she felt she could let that go and just be present and do her practice.
I found this to be such a lovely reminder of the power of tuning in to our own bodies and seeing what comes up — where you encounter physical resistance but also mental and emotional. Noticing if you’re constantly wondering if the class is almost over. Thinking about your to-do list or what a friend said earlier in the day. Wondering what you’re going to have for dinner after class (or maybe that’ just me…).
I have, of course, been in my student’s shoes many times in various classes (yep, even to this day!). But our conversation also made me think about the many times that I’m judging myself during my practice — regardless of where I am. Heck, it even happens when I’m practicing on my own at home!
For me, letting go of judgement is a multi-layered process. The external yields, albeit slowly, to the internal. And the more I’m able to do it, even if briefly, the better able I am to recognize and cultivate it in the future. Another interesting aspect of this is that the more I can do it on the mat, the more I find myself doing it off the mat. I’m usually a delayed reaction kind of gal (as in, it may take me a few days — at best — to figure out that I’ve let go of some judgment in a particular situation), but that still works for me. Guess it’s part of the judgment I need to let go.
This is something I’m very much mulling over these days, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. What does letting go of judgment in your yoga practice — on and/or off the mat — mean/look like for you?