As we go through the practice, alone on the mat. Sometimes finding our minds quiet, sometimes not. The practice asks us to observe, but it doesn’t tell us what to examine exactly. Your teacher offers you things to consider and its up to you to assign what that idea might belong to. It makes me think about this quote from the legendary George Carlin:

If you’re looking for self-help, why would you read a book written by somebody else? That’s not self-help, that’s help. There’s no such thing as self-help. If you did it yourself you didn’t need help. Try to pay attention to the language we’ve all agreed on. -George Carlin.

Note: the section of the bookstore is now called, Personal Growth.

Why do I bring this up? Because our practice is asking us to go inside of ourselves and find the wisdom there. But at some point we leave the studio and go about our days interacting with the world. And there will be times when you as a yoga practioner are in a situation where all the things you know from your mat escape you. And you’re not your finest self. Maybe you realize it in the moment, maybe it comes to you later, maybe you’re thinking about something that happened now.

So let me help you to remember; apart of ahimsa (non-violence) isn’t just preventing inflicting harm to yourself and others, but to find the gentleness too. It’s not as simple as pain and no pain. It’s watching yourself go towards the harsher reaction and taking pause. Its ALSO letting yourself off the hook sometimes.

We all could easily take a dive into our less flattering selves, so make some of your practice be holding space for yourself (both the light and dark parts) in a kinder way.