Dare (not) to Compare

I’ve started taking Yoga again and I’m really glad I did. Not only is it a way for me to get some activity into my life but I truly believe in its meditative benefits. A dedicated and consistent Yoga practice can teach us the importance of staying in the present moment, and can take us on a journey of self-discovery and healing.

One of my favourite things about practicing Yoga is that it has a tendency to permeate the rest of my life. For example, it helps me to better manage my stress and clear my mind, it helps me sleep better and it helps me to stay in the here and now. Possibly my favourite benefit though, is the non-competitiveness of the practice. As any good Yoga teacher will remind you, it is not about what your neighbour is doing on his/her mat that is important, your focus should remain on your intention and on your own personal practice. Judgment has no place in yoga and for so many of us women that is a lesson we can take with us to many places in our lives.

Don’t get me wrong – while I’m not totally against a little healthy competition and in fact I feel that it has its place in the world (certain sports, business, games…), I don’t think that it belongs anywhere near our body-image.

Of course I have a reason for this little rant – last night during my Yoga class, in the moments before we began, I overheard three (beautiful) women discussing their bodies and the gripes they had with them. They then began discussing the fact that at least they weren’t as bad as some, and how sometimes going to the beach is good for morale because at least you can see how others are much worse than you.

At first I got angry because I’m not a small girl and tend to get sensitive about these things. And then I felt sad. Sad because these women are not so different from me and sad because this conversation reminded me that we all too often derive our sense of self-worth through our jean size and through how we “stack-up” to other women. And then I remembered how contrary this discourse is to the teachings of Yoga to be non-judgmental, stay in the present and focus on your own practice. So perhaps this conversation had a lesson in it for me. The lesson being that I don’t need to define myself based on how I compare to others or what size is written on my jeans. And that became my intention for last night’s practice – no judgment.

I don’t really have a Yogic image to go with this post, but given my experience I thought it would be fun to post this Hannah Lynn image. I coloured her using some less conventional hair colours and I think she looks awesome. I would never have the courage to go purple and pink myself, but obviously this little character (Hannah) is full of self-confidence and doesn’t give a flying duck what anyone thinks and she rocks it.

Hannah Night_1_wm

Skin: E000, E00, E11, R20

Hair: BV04, BV13, BV17, R05, R06, R09

Top: B01, B05, B07, B09

Eyes/Tail: YG21, YG23, YG25

Namasté and thanks for stopping by.

EBee xox

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