Performing for Yourself vs. Others
I still get nervous every time I go to Bikram Yoga class.
The night before, as I’m falling asleep, my mind starts to worry about whether I’ll be able to make it through the whole class without rest. If I’ll be able to hold the balancing postures the whole time. If I’ll get too hot and lightheaded to push myself to new limits. It’s silly, really, because my yoga practice is my own and no one else cares how well I do in each class. If I can’t hold each posture, so what? The world won’t end. And yoga is good for me no matter how far I can go that day.
Put me in front of a crowd, and I’ll perform my little heart out. But ask me to compete against myself? Not so fast. The same thing used to happen during my years of Irish dance and music playing. For 13 years I was in a constant state of performance and competition. I loved performing because the only goal was to make the crowd happy, but I beat myself up over competitions.
Spectators are entertained by the beauty of movement and sound. They know that everyone makes mistakes but are thrilled to see someone smiling and upbeat. Why can’t we treat ourselves the same way? Why can’t we be more understanding of our rough days and do something purely for the enjoyment and benefit it brings to us?
At the end of class today, my yoga instructor told us her favorite quote: “Worry is just wasting your imagination on things you don’t even want to happen“. What a perfect quote to hear when I was thinking about my pre-class jitters. Sometimes life is so serendipitous.
Are you harder on yourself than others?
How do you handle performance vs. competition?
I forgot my camera at home, so you get a Droid pic. I just can’t help but wear a skirt and flats when it’s in the sixties today! I don’t know how soon I’ll get another chance…
And breakfast was my usual oatmeal bowl, which I can assure you looked the same as it does every other day. I’ll have to try another Droid pic for lunch.