I’m currently reading a book called ‘Daring Greatly’ by Brene Brown. She talks about the concept of loving and accepting yourself no matter what! That we are all ‘worthy of love and belonging’ despite our flaws, failures and mistakes. I would say these are similar principles of a genuine yoga practice.

Sometimes as yogis/ yoginis we can put pressure on ourselves to be ‘perfect’. That if you practice yoga you must always be loving and kind, honest and genuine, happy and positive etc etc and if you don’t fit the bill then you must not be a yogi/ yogini and your not worthy of practicing/teaching yoga and worse yet you are not worthy of love and belonging!

I feel that this couldn’t be further from the truth of yoga. No one is perfect we are all flawed and actually its our imperfections that make us whole. I believe in learning from your mistakes however sometimes you may need to make that mistake a few times before you can really change. Our habits can be engraved in us from childhood or even from our past lives therefore it may take time for us to change our negative patterns.

Therefore in order to embrace our imperfections it takes considerable amounts of self compassion. So how do we practice self compassion? This is something I am still learning and Brown speaks about it in her book but I believe it begins with your mind and your mental self talk. So now if I make a mistake I watch my thoughts. If my mental talk is ‘Oh what have I done! I should know better than that! Why did I make such a silly mistake!’ I will change it to something more positive like ‘I’ve made a mistake and I will aim to learn from this mistake. Despite this mistake I am still worthy of love and belonging. I am enough.’

This change in thought pattern does require some mental effort however rather than making you feel upset, guilty or worse yet ashamed of your behavior it can make you feel more accepting and forgiving of yourself.

If you are on a yoga path and your self awareness has increased you may become more aware of your flaws. So this is a time to develop self compassion because it is the only thing which will make life easier and once you have compassion for yourself you will easily have it for others too!

You can find out more about Brene Brown and her work here

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