It’s a difficult feat to not harbor judgment, and to many that’s a very general and overly expansive statement. Since beginning TT (teacher training), I’ve tried to keep this concept of judgment in my thoughts during every element of my day. Almost the very first assertion from my teacher was regarding the importance of allowing yourself to listen to others—without immediate judgments and critiques flooding your mind. Tapas (patience) and Svadhyaya (mindfulness) are personal behaviors I try to remind myself of on and off of my mat.
Most people in a yoga class have witnessed someone prior to class going into Scorpion or jumping into a handstand, so rather than harboring resentment or envy (or mumbling “showoff”), allow for each individual to have their own practice. This individual may just rely on these poses to warm up his lower back, and in contrast you may need to rest in child’s pose in preparation for class. Allow yourself and others this time….without judgment.
Trust me it takes practice, a lot of practice. Unfortunately, I am a very impatient person, and I immediately blame my Type A personality; however, then I wouldn’t be holding myself accountable now would I? This week I walked into one of my favorite evening classes at Flow Yoga Center, I was prepared for the fluid breathing and fast flow of the class. Basically I wanted my butt kicked. My teacher informed us that we would spend the beginning of the class on the floor, tapering our energy as we near the New Moon. I went through the motions, but not fully accepting my breath or the direction of the class. It was difficult to concentrate on the present, as I reflected on the usual sequences we were sadly not moving through.
Needless to say, I was judging my teacher’s sequences and second guessing my decision to come to class. I did not have the Saucha (clarity) to focus on the movements and energy we were cultivating for the Waning Moon, and thus was astonished as the pose intensity and my breathing increased. The opening movements that I had been frustrated with had cultivated a palpable prana and flow of sweat. Lying on my mat exhausted, I was fully appreciative of the hybrid of asanas I had just experienced. With mindfulness of my thoughts, I concentrated on going into my next class this morning with complete non-judgment. Open to all possibilities from the Universe