My self-judgments have been running rampant this past week. I wake up around 7 or 8 each morning and tell myself I can show up to any yoga school and there will be a class going on. Or I look up the location of am ashram I am interested in. Yet, when I actually walk out for the day, I find myself never even coming close to any of those things. Instead I find a café with a view of the street where I can watch people as they begin their day. I walk to the Ganga and sit on my favorite rock, a smooth orange seat close to the sacred river herself. I read one of the books gifted to me or write. I pause at shops to look at ornately sparkly tapestries of Siva and bronze statues of Ganesha. I drink a lot of ginger/honey/lemon tea and eat dosas.
Most days, by the time I get to bed I feel like I’ve seen a lot. I’ve certainly walked a lot, but I haven’t done any actual yoga, be it asana, pranayama or meditation. So, as I reflect, I find that nasty little voice in my head imposing her strong opinions on who I am and am not. Am I adequate and fit to guide others in their path of yoga if I am in the yoga capital of the world and not even practicing?
I’d like to say yes, or at least as fit enough.
We impose judgments on other people because we are analyzing them based on our own prejudices. Someone who doesn’t measure up to our personal standards is really just reflecting back our own fears of being inadequate in those particular ways. That’s why it’s easy to love nature: we can’t possibly compare ourselves to mountains and birds, so they don’t threaten our sense of personal adequacy.
Maybe I could say that my yoga has been to examine these parts of myself: the highly critical and judgmental self. It’s not to say that asana wouldn’t serve me here, but there’s other work to be done. Amidst this being a “vacation”, I have a lot of time with myself – time to consider and feel things I’ve historically avoided because there’s no time for self-work.
My first order is business is to stop judging my day by what I didn’t do and instead reflect on what I did do, all the things I did learn about myself and the world around me. I need to bust out that List of Things I Think I Should Do!