I recently went to a (much needed) yoga class. My whole body was achy and yearning for some time and space to breathe, stretch, and find my practice. Sitting at a desk all day makes my entire front-body coil up. My shoulders droop forward, my hips and glutes tighten up, then my ever-vulnerable lower back starts to scream. It’s the most perfect recipe for disaster.
I kept telling myself, “just get your ass on your mat!” “You have literally ZERO excuses not to.” “You can do it in the living room!!”
You should see some of the calendar reminders I set myself…
Welp, there’s one.
So I went. I put on my most favorite pair of Lululemons (as if you can only have one favorite pair), a cozy top, threw my yoga bag over my shoulder and headed out. I was obviously looking like I was Jenny-from-the-yogi-block.
walked strut into the yoga room and took “my” spot. I’d like to mention that before this class, I had actually never taken a class at this studio. I didn’t have a “spot.” After setting up my area with blocks, blanket and bolster, I just lay there.
But I wasn’t thinking about how proud of myself I was for making it to a class. Or how grateful I am to have a body that can move. I was thinking, oh I need to take a picture of myself to show everyone I was here and how zen I am.
Welp. There’s the picture that I immediately posted post-yoga to show my followers, “LOOK! I’M A YOGI! I’M ZEN!”
I remember looking around the room as it started to fill with fellow yogi’s. Fellow girls and women who were all there for their own reasons — then I caught myself. I was judging. every. single. person.
“Oh, her hair is way too blonde.”
“Oh wow, that lady is a lot older than the rest of us.”
“This girl (literally.next.to.me) is curvy.”
“Her mat doesn’t seem like it’s very good.”
Holy. Shit. What was I doing?? Everyone has their own story. Their own journey. Their own reasons for stepping into the aptly named “Breathe” room. Lord knows I do. This is supposed to be a judgment-free zone. And there I was, judging them. Judging myself. Thinking I was this all-mighty yogi who was practically perfect in every way.
STOP ON THE PLAY. NOT THE CASE.
Why did those thoughts enter my mind? Who was I to judge my fellow classmates? I have been on the other side of that more often than not. I know how it feels to see someone looking at me and immediately think, “ugh, what now.”
And that brought me to a bigger thought — what if we took a step back every time we consciously judged someone and reversed that thought?
“Oh, her hair is way too blonde.” Think, “Hey! We’re both blondies! I wonder what kind of purple shampoo she uses… I should ask.”
“Oh wow, that lady is a lot older than the rest of us.” Think, “Good for her! You go girl! I hope I can move the way she does when I get older.”
“This girl (literally.next.to.me) is curvy.” Think, “How good must she feel after these classes?” **side note, we partnered up at one point in the class, and she was REALLY nice!!! I felt like a total ass.
“Her mat doesn’t seem like it’s very good.” Why do I even care what I think about her mat? I’m not using her mat. I’m using my mat.
Better yet, why do I even care about any of these things that I was judging?!
I found this quote on Instagram:
And it’s true.
Your thoughts are a representation of who you are. How you see people, things, events.
The second you let your thoughts become something else, something potentially harmful, they are no longer beautiful. You let this grey cloud start to creep over you that will eventually start to water your thought-garden with negative things.
A quote from Roald Dahl that I have always loved:
If we, as a whole, didn’t judge so much, maybe we would live in a happier world.
I know that’s a very, very bold statement. But it’s true. The second I realized I was being judgmental, I tried to change my thinking during class. And you know what? I enjoyed that class more than I probably would have.
I know I won’t be able to change at the snap of a finger, or by tomorrow, or maybe even by the end of the week, but I do know that if I can change one small thing every day, I can make myself a happier person. And I can make those around me happier too. Small changes eventually accumulate to bigger changes.
So with that, I am vowing to actively change the way I think. Yes, it will take time. But I know in time I can be a better human. ❤