“This is a no-judgement zone” says my yoga instructor the other day. I almost laughed out loud. As if I would be critical of anyone else when my warrior pose would be more appropriately called “The Infinite Struggle.” The instructor went on to say how we would take the other and be completely non-judgmental of ourselves.The unfortunate truth is that this is very difficult to do, very near impossible.
I can look at the skinny mini, oh-so-flexible chick to my right and think… wow, she’s amazing. I look to the heavier girl to my left and think, she is hitting those poses like a boss. And the pregnant lately, well, she’s just downright bad ass.
However, when it comes time for me to look inward, there’s no mercy. I’m too fat. I’m not flexible enough. I’m sure the lady behind me is in her own personal hell having to look at my wide load all class. I can’t touch my toes. I can’t, I’m not, too much of this, not enough of that and so on it goes.
Then in true Yogi fashion, someone farted – loudly and no one reacted. As I scanned the room I noticed that some people were smiling, some were focused and concentrating and the pregnant lady was continually laughing at herself. These observations somehow brought me back inward and I realized just how ridiculous I was. No one is reacting to me. I am of the firm belief that no one really cares about what I am doing, that most external judgement, good or bad, is fleeting. The “judgement zone” lies within. I had been given permission to be free and made the decision to hold myself captive.
I made it through yoga class just fine. I pushed myself and entered into an entirely new flex zone, even did a little humming bee at the end. I’m usually way too inhibited to make noises. However, when you stop judging yourself you free yourself to push limits and be amazing.