My relationship with yoga slightly predates my relationship to my husband, yet I have learned as much from him as I have in any yoga class. In the thirteen years we've been together he's heard many things that he'll try to throw back into conversation to lighten the mood, "I have the best TaDA!-sana" or "have you gone upside down today? You could use a change of perspective." While these comments always make me laugh, there is beauty in those small reminders. For that I am grateful. By far, my favorite phrase is the one he repeats when I am at my wits end with myself: "this is a judgment free zone.” He hears me talk about myself negatively, and that comment is his way to help me change perspective. That one phrase, “this is a judgment free zone,” fosters an open relationship between the two of us, and keeps me thinking about my relationship with myself, with him, and with others. Sometimes, no matter hard I try, at the end of the day there is that voice saying I’m not getting better fast enough, I’m not trying hard enough, I didn’t accomplish enough… simply, I’m not enough. The light at the end of the tunnel is that phrase, “this is a judgment free zone,” allowing me to breathe easier, to be truly honest with myself, to go upside down mentally to change my perspective: I tried very hard today, I accomplished what I needed to, and I was enough for myself, my husband, and my work.
So many of my students and family members have battled this negative ego. The ego comes out of nowhere, disguised as self-confidence, comparing you to others, telling you to work harder, to be better than you were today, to be more like people you see around you. Ultimately the negative ego makes you feel as though you are simply not enough. This blog is a place where I get to give some advice, examples of ways I struggle, try to assist everyone who reads these words. Let me help you by saying, this is a judgment free zone and you are enough. You may still need to make changes in your life and be a positive, confident, amazing person.
Recognizing your negative ego in yoga is essential to preventing injury. The same goes in other aspects of life as the negative ego can lead you off your path of good intentions of eating right, relaxing when you need it, exercising without pain, or simply accomplishing every day goals that you’ve set for yourself. Here are a few ways to change your perspective and reset the focus on positive:
- meet your body in the here and now
- recognize the boundary between your limits and where you want to go
- positively reaffirm where you have been, where you are, and where you are going
- remind yourself this is a judgment free zone of beautiful acceptance for the right now and right now you are doing enough
We never start out at the end of our path. Recognize when you are at the beginning, appreciate when you have to step back, and enjoy the moments you step forward. This is a judgment free zone, and you are enough.
Perspective is everything.
**Cheers to my husband for being a constant mirror, for his love of meditation, for his constant optimism, and his infectious laugh. Our paths will always be our own, but oh how we are blessed that we walk our paths together.
Namaste & Shanti