Let’s face it. So many of us live with a nasty inner critic, who tells us we are not good enough, who scares us into thinking we need to do more and be more, makes us think we are being judged, laughed at, talked about, and criticized. It’s very easy to let other people’s thoughts become more important than our own, to get caught up in negativity. It’s hard for us to take a compliment or even to dare (oh my god) compliment ourselves. In last month’s workshop with Ta’lor Pinkston, a group of us did a little experiment. We stood in a circle. One person went in the middle and the whole group complimented them, popcorn style. Everyone had to take a turn in the middle. The only thing that person was allowed to say as they were complimented was “Thank You.” Do you know how hard this was to do? For some, it was excruciating to hear nice things about themselves. For most it was, at least, uncomfortable and awkward.
I am like anyone else. I beat myself up all the time. I most definitely am my harshest critic. And this has got to stop. From this point forward, there is no reason to let others get you down. When we shift from being worried about what others think of us, we return previously wasted energy back to ourselves. When we step on to our yoga mat, we are committing to empowering ourselves, loving our bodies and strengthening our spirit. And the truth is, that posture after posture, our effort is proof enough in our practice. On the mat, we are accepted for who we are, and encouraged to try even if we make mistakes. All through our practice, our breath nourishes our body. And as we build our strength in our core and foundation, we begin to empower ourselves. Yoga teaches us self-reliance. It teaches us to be independent and listen to our soul’s wisdom. When you come to class, you come for yourself. The message of The Om Lounge has always been to “come as you are.” In my heart I know that this practice is here to support us in whatever ways we need to be supported.
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