Yoga in Real Life: Acceptance

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We are inundated daily with images of what the ‘perfect’ life is and how to be the ‘perfect’ person. This can place a lot of strain on our self-esteem and and our minds as we compare ourselves to sometimes unrealistic ideals of how other people appear to live their lives via social media. For me this manifests as envy of other people’s yoga journeys. I see peoples pictures of handstands, back bends, forward folds, etc, and I begin comparing myself to the images. I start to put myself down for not being as ‘good’ as this image that I see online.

I have to catch myself because I have no idea what went into the making of this image. Maybe the person has been practicing yoga for 10 years compared to my 2, maybe the person stretched out for 1+ hours to be able to achieve the pose, maybe the person was a ballerina from a young age and is simply very flexible. Without knowing another person’s journey it is unfair and impossible to compare ourselves. Their journey is different from our own and we can never forget that.

We need to accept ourselves where we are at the moment. I was never in any sports that encouraged flexibility as a kid and therefore gaining flexibility has been a challenge for me. Looking at pictures of people in splits or full dancer’s pose is very inspiring, but I have to remind myself not to take it too far so my inspiration does not become jealousy. I am trying to take more inspiration from other people and use it to guide myself instead of change myself. By using my inspirational images to take small steps towards my goals I grow as a person without feeling the need to change who I am. We are all beautiful the way we are and we should never feel the need to change based on an image posted on our phone screens.

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