I spent most of my life - up until more recently than I’d like to admit - trying to be like other people. Maybe it’s human nature, maybe it stems from my years as a competitive dancer or maybe it boils down to growing up so close in age to my two beautiful, fun and smart older sisters (that I constantly wanted to be like). I was so caught up in striving to be more like what I loved and admired about other people that for a really long time I couldn’t see that there might be things I could like and admire about myself.
This (obviously) followed me onto my yoga mat. I did the exact opposite of what teachers encourage you to do. I stared at everyone (kind of creepy when I put it like that). The first - okay fine maybe two…three… - year(s) of my practice were very much a game of looking around the room at someone else, wishing I was more like them or even worse, yanking and pulling myself into poses that I thought made my practice look more like theirs (not a recipe for a healthy body or mind, I don’t recommend it).
I wish I could tell you that by the time I found myself in teacher training I’d mastered my inner critic and constant need to compare but that would be a lie and I’m not very good at that. When I started teaching, I’d go to classes I loved and I’d be taking notes on what I should take from them to make myself better. Oh she’s really funny, I like that.