Where is your self-compassion?
I’ve finally got back to my yoga mat after a substantial break. This used to be a big part of my life, something I practiced several times a week. As I returned after my longest ever break, my experience of it was quite different. Postures that I used to find with ease are now a struggle and can be felt for days afterwards, where they would not have left an impression before. I have had to change my expectations of myself and my body.
As I practiced, I heard my critical voice becoming louder. It scolded me for being away from my mat for so long, told me there was no point because I was rubbish and generally made a nuisance of itself. If I had listened to that voice, I would have done one of two things; I might have given up entirely and decided yoga wasn’t for me anymore or I might have pushed myself too hard and moved into injury. Both options would have resulted in an interrupted practice. Instead, I tuned into my compassionate voice which reminded me that there were reasons why I had not practiced in so long and that it was to be expected it would feel different. This voice allowed me to find a balance, to work at my edge, but also to come into child’s pose when I needed to. I know that with an attitude of compassion, listening to my body and what it can do, I will be able to continue to practice, even if it might look different than it did last year.
As the world is opening again, I am trying to maintain the same level of self-compassion in other areas of my life. It is ok if things that I used to do feel harder, it is ok if I need time to ease myself back into some activities. I can take time out and I can choose what feels ok to do on a schedule that feels right for me. I am learning to be clear with myself and others about what I can and cannot do. I am not the same person I was before the pandemic and I am still learning who the new me will be.
Which areas of your life would benefit from some self-compassion? What would that look like for you?