As yogis and yoga teachers, most of us know well the feeling of being compassionate and holding space for others. While this is a beautiful benefit of teaching yoga, it is also important to turn around, practice self compassion and hold space for oneself. The need to practice self compassion can be especially true if one decides to enter a profession in which they are giving from themselves to their students or clients. Similar ideas are found in the Yoga Sutras, as well. Ahimsa, or non-violence, is one of the Yamas and talks about loving oneself and others unconditionally. It is easy to see that compassion is high on the list of priorities of yogis and yoga teachers going back to the origins of Yoga itself.
There are many ways that someone might practice self-compassion. The definition of this is broad and highly individualized depending on each person. Compassion can look like many things from reminding yourself that you are a divine being in a human experience and you are worthy just because of this fact. It can look like attending live stream or on-demand yoga classes to nourish yourself for an hour. You might find your favorite teacher or studio and choose a class to suit your physical needs in the moment. Looking for some rest? Find a loving restorative yoga class. Looking to move some energy? Find an uplifting vinyasa yoga flow. My Vinyasa Practice offers affordable yoga whether you’re looking for a drop-in live-stream class or an on-demand yoga class, whether you have 15 minutes or an hour, they have something for you.
Self Compassion can also look like practicing mindfulness; applying the concept of ‘What is true?’ when thoughts or feelings arise. Typically, when big emotions come into our experience, we are taken out of the moment. This is because when we are activated by something or someone, it is tied to a memory of ours where something similar happened and not the actual moment that we are in. If we can remember this, we can find ease from unnecessary suffering caused by hurt feelings. Mindfulness is the practice of always bringing one’s self back to the present moment because that is really all we have.
You might even book a Yoga Therapy appointment to learn about practicing compassionate self-forgiveness. A certified Yoga Therapist works with tools that harnesses the power of yoga to guide a practitioner through growth and healing. Self compassion is a huge component of Yoga Therapy. How you execute the practice of self compassion can look different from one day to the next. It all depends on you and what your experiences bring to you.
Going deeper into your personal practice can allow you the opportunity to check in with yourself. When we practice, we are stepping into svadhyaya, or self-study, to get to know ourselves a bit better. You might also decide to sign up for Online Yoga Teacher Training or another yoga course or certification program intended to help you go further down the path of personal practice and self-study, which are both aspects of a yogic practice. My Vinyasa Practice has created affordable options for Yoga Teacher Training to make the process of getting to know yourself more accessible to everyone. You can learn more about yourself, the sacred and ancient practice of yoga, and your fellow humans by signing up for a 200-hour Online Yoga Teacher Training.
Learning about yourself through personal practice and self-study so that you can meet yourself with compassion as you are in each moment is a beautiful gift to offer to yourself. It’s important to remember that if there is anyone in the world that is most deserving of your love, affection, and compassion, it is you!