Yoga is NOT a competition…or is it?

Competition has been a major part of my life since the very beginning. In school, in sports, even in my family – always trying to be the best, to win. I don’t say this with malice; I enjoy competition. It has become a part of my daily life, and I have a healthy attitude towards it…especially when I’m winning.

So, I admit it – I was really nervous to start this course. But, why? I was afraid that it was a competition, and I was afraid I was going to lose. I knew I definitely wouldn’t be the youngest, strongest, or most flexible.   Knowing all that – I was scared.

But, then, breathing deeply and standing tall, I walked in and sat down and started the process of yoga. Through the kind words of my teachers and the great attitudes of my fellow classmates, I have truly begun to understand that yoga is NOT a competition – at least, not in the traditional sense. I don’t get jealous that someone else’s core strength is greater than mine.   I feel happy when she is able to use her strength to pike into a headstand. I’m not bitter when someone else can rotate completely in a pose because her spine is more flexible. I’m happy that she is able to do the advanced version.

So, no, I’m not in competition with others. But, I am in competition with myself. I love trying to push myself to that next level of a pose. I love the feeling of finally being strong enough to do a Fallen Angle. However, I am cautious of this competition. I understand there will be ups and downs, and I am forgiving of the downs. I am kind to myself. It is a process. And, it is mine.

-Patricia Makatsaria