“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher. ” — Pema Chodrn
Judging is a quality we learn to cultivate from a young age. In Yoga, we are allowed to let go of it. And that’s liberation. Just as we don’t compete, we neither judge. We don’t judge the person next to us about what he or she can do. And less we judge our own body about its achievement or flexibility of today’s practice. Because every day is different. One day we are able to go deep into poses and another day, for some reason our body (or mind) doesn’t allow us to go that far. And that’s ok. Don’t get angry with yourself or your body. In Yoga, we don’t judge – either our neighbor nor ourselves. We meet ourselves and others with love and acceptance.
Simply standing in a posture does not equal full engagement. Noticing thoughts is key; in yoga, we begin to notice our thoughts. Thoughts become words, words become behaviors, behaviors become habits and habits become values. On the mat, we choose to value non-judgment. We learn to do no harm. Passing judgment is harmful because that energy of criticism lives in you. It affects you. When you judge someone it defines you not the other person.
Yoga is not about judging others. It is a practice of love. And it is just that—practice. Sometimes it is hard to love the person that cut you off while driving, but we try. And when we try, we are bringing our asana and yoga practice off the mat into the world and we help make the world a slightly better place.