Finding Self-Compassion And Loving Yourself, Exactly Where You Are

Finding Self-Compassion And Loving Yourself, Exactly Where You Are

I hate straddle pose.

I harshly judge straddle pose.

Well, more accurately, I harshly judge myself in straddle pose. Why? Because my body doesn’t look like the super bendy, flexible teachers that I see demo it or the super bendy yogis in class.

My straddle pose looks so different than anyone else’s. My hamstrings are tight. My hips are restricted. My torso stays upright and my fold is not deep. At my edge, the very first place where I feel resistance, there is plenty of intensity and my body refuses to soften. These judgments fuel a negative dialogue that runs in my mind while I practice straddle. I compare. I judge. I suffer. This pose is the quickest way for me to get wrapped up in ego, believing the negativity. Believing that I am not good enough and not worthy. Believing that there is something wrong with me because I can’t do it like everyone else.

What?!? From a yoga pose?!? Yes, exactly.

How do I cope with this? How do I not believe the ego and the irrational story running in my head?

Self-compassion. I notice the harsh self-critical thought pattern running like a sermon in my head and acknowledge that it’s there. Then I silence that critic by saying to myself, “I love and accept you exactly as you are, right in this moment.

Acknowledging that I am suffering and feeling inferior in that moment, I come back to truth – I am in straddle pose and I am breathing. That’s it. All that other stuff isn’t real. I continue to breathe, surrender to the truth in the moment and allow the hate to melt away from my heart.

I invite straddle pose to challenge my belief system and my false sense of self. I am in control of this wild & powerful mind. I’ve had enough of those harsh criticisms and don’t need them anymore. Self-compassion softens those judgments and changes the self-critical story that tells me that I am inferior.

As Buddha says, “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

If I can use self-compassion to soften in my yoga practice, then I can practice it in my daily life in times I feel most uncomfortable and unworthy. It’s time I shine some compassion inward and support myself exactly as I am, exactly where I am. No one is more deserving than me.