I stumbled on this post titled “I Don’t Do Yoga And It Could Be Your Fault” and I can’t keep my mouth shut. I feel like it’s such a clear example of the hatred women spew at each other and I want to simultaneously give this women a hug and tell her she’s enough, while telling her, as lovingly as possible, to stop acting like the condescending little lady that I’m sure she IS NOT (as I imagine most parents want to do with their kids on a daily basis).
In a nutshell, this article details a hatred of Instagram posts from “girls showing off their bodies” in yoga poses, accusing them of lacking the inner peace that yogis are “supposed” to exhibit.
I can’t even believe it’s on Huffington Post, tagged under “self-esteem”, “women’s self-esteem” and “women” because to me, this is a clear example of low self-esteem and limiting beliefs and it makes me sad.
We have to alter our mindsets so these things don’t drag us down.
I have a great deal of compassion for this (touchy) subject and am hoping that’s clear here. Here we go.
4 Ways We Limit Ourselves
Assuming what someone is thinking. When we assume what the meaning behind these posts are, what they’re thinking, that they’re competing with everyone else, we’re putting words into people’s brains without actually knowing what’s inside their brains. It’s like when you have fake fights with people while you’re running. You assume they’re going to say one thing and then when you actually talk to them, they throw you for a loop and agree with you and you’re all, WTF, I had my argument all bullet-pointed out.
Choosing to focus on the negative. If you feel like less of a yogi/person or are offended because at this point, you aren’t able to do the pose in that exact same way…then sister, that’s on you. We shouldn’t expect each other to shrink and hide to boost our own self-esteem. You choose what makes you feel best, and you can chose to find something positive or choose to step away from it. It is your choice.
I don’t find it egocentric. I find it uplifting and motivational to see people who are good at what they do. I also find it uplifting and motivational to see people who aren’t so great but are trying, because getting started when you don’t know much is the hardest part, mentally. But if their posts never fail to bring you down, stop following them. Cut that shit out. Everyone likes different things and we can’t let the things we DON’T like get us down and take up space in our lives. Me? I love those “tough love” style posts. I love photos of people running. It never ceases to amaze me how much motivation I take from a photo of someone doing something I also love and sharing their thoughts.
Judging by appearances. Those multiple “skinny” references. Why you gotta bring someone’s weight into it? If they weigh more, does your viewpoint change? Can we all just appreciate that people are different sizes? That men do this too, not just women? Our appearance has no factor on what we can and can’t accomplish.
Blaming others for our fears. If you aren’t doing yoga, or whatever it is that resonates with you, don’t place blame on others. You’re in charge of deciding if you want to do yoga. If you don’t, great! You’ll find something else you enjoy spending your time on and all will be well. That’s what makes us happy people, in my opinion. If you do, then turn that focus inward. Who gives a shit what people are posting on Instagram. If you’re feeling fragile but want to go to a regular ol’ yoga class, chances are these insta-yogis won’t be there anyway…but the key is building up your self-esteem so high that it doesn’t matter if they are or not. And the key to that, in my humble opinion, is starting and working through challenges. There’s always going to be someone who’s better than us at specific things. And that’s okay. We don’t have to tear them down.
My favorite quote from Gary Vaynerchuk:
There are two ways to build the biggest building in town: Build the biggest building in town, or tear down all the other buildings around you.
Yoga is a “competition” with ourselves and no one else. When we make things a competition we end up quitting because of silly things like Instagram photos and spend our time thinking about how annoyed we are instead of approaching those people with kindness and compassion and using their talents to fuel ourselves.
What uplifts YOU?