So the only dance class that would fit with my school schedule was Yoga! I have been going to yoga twice a week for the past 3 weeks and I am loving it! I am less stressed now, going to school and work than I was just working. Yoga has helped me open my mind to new ideas and ways of thinking about others, the world and myself. My yoga instructor has us practice thinking in a "no harm" mind set all the time. It is really hard!
Try it. Try for one day. Hell, try for one hour to not think any negative thoughts about yourself or the people around you. No judgments, no critiques, just positive energy all the time. It is probably the most difficult homework assignment I have ever received.
I think we as humans are constantly judging one another for various reasons, weight, clothing, actions, voice, even laugh. The thoughts are non stop and usually unconscious because we have learned in a pack society, we have to maintain our status in the pack by showing those below us that they are, in fact, below us. When in reality, we are all human, and we all have faults and flaws that another person can and will use against us.
The thoughts against others are difficult to stop, but once you become aware of them you can always bring your mind back into check and think something positive instead. The hardest part about this assignment for me has been the "no harm" thinking about myself.
I have always thought I have an OK self confidence level, not great but it's not low either. What I didn't realize is that the nonstop internal commentary I run on myself is so much more frequent and much more vicious than the things I think about others. It took a long and difficult class to even realize I was doing it much less how frequently.
I was in triangle position or Trikonasana, (above)and I kept thinking "Jenn, you are doing it wrong, and you are such a dork for even trying to do yoga, you are as flexible as board! Why the hell are you here?!" The instructor looked around and I don't know what made her say it, maybe intuition or maybe my face was showing her my lagging self confidance, but she just said to the class,"Remember No Harm! Stop thinking any negative thoughts about others and especially yourself. Be at peace with your body."
I realized that all of the negativity I was putting on myself was what was holding me back from really enjoying myself. I am not saying that the thoughts went away all at once, they didn't. They are still not totally gone. But I am always working on it, and I am discovering that I really do like my body and myself so much more than ever before.