Ah, jealousy, how you butt your ugly green nose where it does not belong.
I admit it; I have been wearing green tinted spectacles for a few years now. Every now and then, they come off, but when they are on, boy, oh, boy do they take over my entire view of the world—and I am on a mission to obliterate these green mind-benders.
It all started while observing a talented yogi (who happened to be next to me in class, lucky me) move with ease into tripod headstand, and handstand—and a billion other awe inspiring yoga poses that seem to be on a perpetual quest to stay far, far away from me.
I moved next to her in class thinking, “Oh, aren’t we hot stuff.” (While internally rolling my eyes and possibly, making caricaturish gaging noises that are quite unladylike.)
A huge part of me kept asking me to stop the comparison, to pay attention to my breath and stay with in the four freaking corners of my own mat, not the other person’s.
I mean, I know this—heck, I thought I had mastered this over the years—I have even taught this almost every class in a sincere effort to remind everyone how amazing they are and how they can practice in a beautifully meditative and safe manner; and yet, on this particular day, when my limbs turned to lead, and my neighbor yogi became a talented angel, flaunting her super-human bandha control in my face, I lost the battle to that ugly green monster called jealousy.
Yup, I had accessed that highly insecure and needy part of my ego and let it take over. I allowed my practice to become a comparison and a competition. I kept yearning to do just one asana she could not, just one graceful, incredible move she would be stumped by.
And then it happened; I fell flat on my face, turned to see what she was doing and felt an immediate surge of love and kinship for this incredible human being.
I sat up for a bit and just watched in awe. She was so focused, so immersed in her practice she radiated prana and beauty. A warm sensation filled me and washed away the green color that had so permeated every part of my being.
The anger was gone, the self-pity had dissolved, the insecure little girl that likes to whine and feel sorry for herself had disappeared and all that was left in that room, sitting on top of my mat, was me.
Imperfect, flawed, and amazingly incredible, me!
I had to laugh at myself a little; I hadn’t just experienced asana jealousy, I had come face to face with my very own “boogey man” and her name was Sapha, the jealous one. All the years of yearning to have this or that person’s legs, arms, butt, belly, hair, career, etc. had finally caught up with me on the mat.
That pang of pain that washed over me when I saw someone whom I had unfairly judged unworthy to play x,y or z character on television, film or stage. That annoying “Black Swan” feeling that screams, “It should be me! Not her, me! I am the fairest of them all!” had taken over, and I was staring right into its greedy, judgy, hateful green eyes.
“All this time,” I thought, “all these years wasting my emotions, time, thoughts and breath on this ridiculous notion that I am not as good as someone else, that I should be where that person was, that I was more deserving than whomever; all of it has been a lie.”
Funny, I really thought all my problems stemmed from the low self-esteem that had taken root in me through my eating disorder—and yet, I hadn’t realized these issued ran much deeper. Out of a sense of rejection for myself, and the person I thought I was; the person I thought I had to be.
The jealous outbursts that made me cry when I saw someone succeed where I had failed were nothing but a symptom…and I was ready for the cure. Correction: I am ready for the cure.
I took some time to meditate after class was done, and imagined myself standing in front of a mirror, and gazing into my soul. I saw all of the good, the bad and the in between. I saw the green, red, blue, pink and white colors that make up who I am (sorry if that was a bit too poetic for you, it is the best way I can explain this today it seems).
I saw a strong, valiant young woman who had grown so much over the last few years that she nearly glowed with joy and life. I saw a broken little girl, yearning for love and attention. I saw an adventure-seeking warrior who would stop at nothing to overcome her fears and plunge into the unknown in an effort to change her world. I saw a yogi, a wife, a teacher, a daughter, a sister, a role-model, a student, an artist, a leader, a scared, yet courageous being who was glowing with love, life, and all the essence of the universe.
I loved me and I forgave me—and I smiled at my reflection and I knew, whenever the green skinned Sapha came around, I could show her this incredible creature, and it would make her go back to whatever ego-filled cave she came from.
It shall be a perpetual battle between the two, but my money is not on the monster—it is on me. It is on my imperfections and my flaws and all that makes me who I am.
Regardless of how many years it may take me to “get” an asana or a part.
I am more than enough at all times; I am incredible just as imperfect and flawed as I am right at this very moment—and that is simply lovely.
“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” ~ C. JoyBell C.
Falling in love with yoga was Sapha Arias‘s destiny from the second she stepped onto her mat for the first time. From this moment on, Sapha began to study as much as she could about yoga, nutrition and holistic healing; researching and reading endlessly in hopes of healing her heart, mind and soul. In this search for knowledge and growth, she realized her practice was more than just asana; it was a direct route to self-discovery and connectivity to every aspect of her self. It was at this point that Sapha began a deeper journey into the heart of yoga and the ability to open up to grace. Feeling joyous about having found the gift of yoga, Sapha feels deeply called to share this practice, and its many lessons with others, and completes her 200 hrs yoga teacher certification with Lex Gillan at The Yoga Institute of Houston Texas in 2011. Sapha is now a vinyasa yoga teacher in the Houston,Texas area. She remains forever the seeker and the student of this practice and wants nothing more than to share the gift of yoga and all its lessons with the world.