I am taking a more present approach to life and I must say I like it. I am learning to let go of fear and judgment and I think I like that even more! I was at a guitar lesson a couple of weeks ago and I had a mini freak out. I had been practicing every day in the privacy of my own living room. I had not played in front of anyone yet and when my teacher and I sat down so I could play what I had been working on I froze. I couldn't do it very well, or not as well as I had been. I stuttered I stammered I fell over the notes and apologized saying "I haven't played in front of anyone before". He said the most appropriate thing "I'm not here to judge you"! With those simple words I was able to let go. Smiling at fear and judgment and saying to myself right! I'm not here to judge myself either. I am here, in my lesson, in my life and in living my yoga, to learn. After all if I were already an expert I wouldn't need to be here right!
We often step on to the yoga mat and are trying to impress someone or do better than someone, sometimes that someone is ourselves. Some people look at the cute girl or the hot guy or maybe our teacher and try to be perfect in a posture so it will impress them. Or maybe thinking to ourselves, I could touch my head to my knees yesterday I should be able to do it today - watch me! Our disappointment when the girl or the guy or our teacher doesn't notice. As well the discouragement when today is different and we can barely reach our feet. We do this on the mat and off. Trying to impress someone or be better than them. Judging others as better, equal or beneath.
I strive to let go of the judgment, be that on the mat, in my guitar playing, my cooking, my children, or walking down the street. I am practicing being the witness. Witnessing my breath, my movement, my feelings. I am learning more about who I am and why I do things a certain way just by witnessing and observing. The fear I felt when having to play what I had learned, I witnessed and observed - I needed and wanted to be perfect for my teacher. Reality is, he doesn't care. I am sure it is better for him to listen to pleasant music, that isn't broken up, off tune, or just really bad. However he is there because people want to learn and he's a good teacher. I am sure if he wanted to hear good music he would go to a concert, turn on his iPod or play it himself.
Reminding my students and reminding myself that our yoga practice and our daily life can be free of judgment. So what if the girl beside you can touch her head to the floor or the guy next to you has perfect posture. If we leave our judgments at the door when we pracitce on the mat we can bring that freedom into our lives and into our world.
Thank you teacher for the lesson!