Picture this: you are on your yoga mat in warrior II and you look over to the mat next to yours.
You see a fellow student, check out their posture and, almost subconsciously, you hear a voice judging that person next to you. That voice is your internal one. That voice is judgmental.
The judgment could be negative, “Wow, that man has a major beer belly!”
It could even be positive toward someone else and negative toward yourself, “gosh, she is so good at this and I am horrible at it!”
When you are in that moment of judgment not only are you judging but, more importantly, you are not practicing yoga. Yoga and judgment are like oil and water—they never mix. Judgment and yoga are mutually exclusive; you cannot truly be practicing yoga and judging people.
Simply standing in a posture does not equal full engagement.
Noticing thoughts is the key. In yoga we begin to notice our thoughts. Thoughts become words, words become behaviors, behaviors become habits and habits become values.
In yoga we choose to value non-judgment. The first tenant of yoga is to do no harm. Passing judgment is harmful because that energy of criticism lives in you. It affects you. When you judge someone it defines you not the other person.
If you feel you can easily comment on others, chances are you are also well versed in judging yourself. Feelings of insecurity and unworthiness create the biggest bullies and the saddest souls.
In yoga we come into the present moment by yoking movement with conscious breath.
We consciously observe and release feelings and fears of the past and future. The internal voice quiets and only is replaced with an inner guru. In this space you are able to observe yourself, neutrally acknowledge and accept what is, thereby coming into balance. In the silence of the present moment we find a deep appreciation for all that is.
Our heart smiles from within.
Within this joy there is no room for judgment. This practice of non-judgment can be taken on and off your yoga mat.
It is free. It is simple. It is necessary.
Sisters: Aida, Vyda, Zara and Siga, are committed to transforming their own lives and the lives of others through yoga and Health Yoga Life Coaching every day. The sisters own and operate the Health Yoga Life studio in Boston. However, they work with clients from all over the world who they coach, and train to become coaches, in their coaching methodology. Together they created the Emotional Responsibility Method™ to help people shift from reactivity to action. They believe that empowerment and happiness are an achievable aim for everyone they meet. Their offerings include Yoga Teacher Trainings (200 hour and 500 hour), Health Yoga Life Coach Trainings and Workshops/Retreats and Consulting. Learn more at healthyogalife.com and independentyogi.com and connect with them on Facebook.
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Asst. Ed: Amy Cushing/Ed: Bryonie Wise