This is one I struggle with a lot – trying not to compare to other people practicing yoga and trying not to be competitive and pushing myself to match what other people do.
I have to constantly go against my own grain with this one. The reason I like going to classes is because I’m aware of what others do around me and I push myself to learn more, I challenge myself to be as good or better than those around me. It does mean I progress my yoga, and everything, quite quickly as it means I try and do better than those around me.
What it does mean is it takes a toll on my body faster than expected and sometimes I can compromise my posture or alignment so I can go as low or as high or as deep a stretch as those around me.
Most recently I have used it to try and adapt my practice to match those around me with good posture or alignment. I use my competitive nature but instead of stretching deeper, reaching higher or folding more, I use it to adjust my back, get my legs straighter. Often that means I’m taking my legs closer or moving back a level so I’m at an easier level but working on perfecting my alignment. It’s a hard balance but it works quite nicely as I can still convince myself it’s competitive without pushing myself beyond my body’s limits.
Each of us has our limitations and our aspects that we’d like to work on. This is just one of mine that I deal with by adapting my existing issue into something that can be used productively and to better myself.
Remember, yoga is not meant to be about being competitive, it’s about bettering yourself and focusing on your own practice in that moment.
Next time you’re in a class, try and focus on yourself, look at how others are working their alignment, ask your teacher to adjust you into the right posture but try not to be the one pulling the deepest stretch or folding the most…unless you naturally are more flexible of course!
Ciao for now x