By Guest Blogger Meera W.
How Yoga Brings Women Together Instead of Competing Against Each Other
As women, we can often tend to compete with each other. We measure ourselves to other women based on looks, relationship status, success, and how well our kids behave. This need to compete comes from a place within that can be managed. If you’ve ever been in a room full of women in an intense yoga class, you’ll find that at the end of the class, there’s a sense of togetherness.
The quiet whispers are words of encouragement and gratitude towards each other. Yoga has the ability to heal many of our wounds that cause judgment. As we touch upon the deepest energy within, we become more open, loving, and compassionate towards others. The unnecessary need to compare or compete simply falls away. Here are some of the things I’ve noticed in myself when I do yoga regularly.
Walls Fall Down When You Open Your Heart
There are many poses in yoga that aid you in opening your heart. The reason we compete is through feelings of “not good enough”. When you can open your heart to the world, those feelings fall away. You don’t have to defend yourself anymore because you know you’re good enough. Opening your heart also allows you to see other women as they really are. They have the same fears, anxieties, complexities as you. When you break those walls down by offering yourself love, you can also give it to others.
The Relaxation of Yoga Helps You See Other Women Differently
Many of our bad behaviors, which includes competing, are due to the ego mind. When you’re stressed out, instead of handling the situation in your mind, you may tend to lash outward. This can manifest as competing. Anxiety often derives from a feeling of separation. When you attend yoga classes, you will feel part of something. This takes away from the isolated feelings you may have been feeling.
Certain yoga poses, especially those that deeply open the hips, can release a lot of stress you’re feeling. Peeling away at the layers of emotions can help you become centered. That centered seat doesn’t allow the mind to play games like competing with other women. It is also known as the seat of consciousness. Nothing can touch you when you become the watcher of your mind, consciousness, or ego. There is no judging or comparing when you reach this level of consciousness. Many of the yoga poses, along with the breathing, were designed thousands of years ago to promote that mental peace.
You Gain More True Confidence
For those that practice yoga often, a confidence begins to grow within. You might think that yoga is nothing more than an act of stretching, making shapes with the body, and breathing. While that is what can be seen on the outside, something is growing within you. It’s something deeper than the body you’re inhabiting.
When you’re dedicated enough, you can find your truth. Part of your truth will be the knowledge that you are good enough. You will come to realize that your problems as a woman are common and shared upon all the other women in the world. Confidence isn’t about proving that you’re better than someone. Confidence is about being okay with who you are. Going deeper into yourself will bring you the truth about life so the outer competitive nature dissipates. You won’t feel the need to prove anything to yourself or to others.
Yoga Allows You to Feel More Compassion
When you have opened yourself up enough through various poses in yoga, you will find that you take your compassion outwards. When you see a woman struggling with something, you will help instead of judge. When you clear your mind of all competitive thoughts, what’s left is compassion for others.
Within your yoga community, you will meet women that have gained the emotional benefits of yoga. If you’re new to the practice, you will likely notice women acting differently and offering you, a stranger, compassion. This can be deeply touching the first time it happens and also help you realize you can be the change you want to see in the world.
A Yoga Class Makes You Realize You’re All in this Together
Regardless of what level you are when it comes to yoga, you will sense a feeling of oneness in a class. The more challenging the yoga is, the more you come together as women. As the energy improves through poses, breathing, and potentially chanting together, every goes through a similar emotional journey. Whether you enter beginners or advanced poses, every woman will tap into the same parts of their energy.
Throughout the class, you will often be centered and having moments that are your own. You will feel the energy of the room though. This is partly what makes yoga classes so magical. You are on your own physical journey but spiritually you surround others as they surround you. Think of how much easier it is to make eye contact and smile at other women after your class is over.
Yoga will deepen your understanding of the world which will stop you from bad behaviors that could hurt others. When you open yourself up to women, you will find that we are all in this together. Once you do that, it can never be unknown to you again. Competition is essentially closing yourself off to the world. Wouldn’t it be better to stay open?
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Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali)