The third sections of Judith Hanson Lasater’s book “Living Your Yoga” focuses on Self-Judgment. She reminds at the beginning of the section of the yoga sutra that says the posture should be “steady and comfortable”. She then goes into describing how we set certain expectations on ourselves and have certain thoughts in regards to our practice that gets in the way of our personal practice. She discusses how we are a culture of “No pain, no gain” and how this is not necessarily the focus in yoga.
Her suggestions for this month is 1)Write down your internal dialogue right after your personal practice. Keep notes brief and do not try to interpret. Keep track and note how the dialogue changes over time. 2) If you find yourself forcing in asana or other parts of your live ask, “is this in the spirit of yoga?” 3)If you notice that someone else is judging you, don’t be quick to agree or to internalize the judgment. Think about what happened and agree only if his assessment aligns with yours. 4) If you are going into a situation about which you feel anxious, tense, or afraid say to yourself, “I am perfect just as I am” 5) Rather than approaching your yoga practice from an attitude of no pain, no gain, how about no pain, no pain? and 6) Do not criticize yourself, anyone else, or anything for one hour. If this feels like too much, commit to doing it for the next 5 minutes.
These suggestions or homework feels quite freeing to me. We spend so much of our time worrying about not meeting expectations that we forget the only real expectations are to grow and learn. This should be interesting lesson in letting go.