On the Mat: Grow Your Confidence

For as long as I can remember, I have always been involved in competitive sports.

From gymnastics to swim team to long distance running- it felt like athletics and

competition was just in my DNA.

When I first set foot on a yoga mat about 10 years ago, I approached yoga the same

way I did sports competition- striving to “beat” my neighbor with a more “perfect”

half moon pose or more challenging inversion. I would push myself to the point of

extreme discomfort and pain to make it look like I was that nimble, ballet dancer

who could effortlessly flow into any pose. I had a total disregard for my body. My

focus seemed to always be on everyone else in the room. I thought to myself, “Was

this what yoga was all about?”

It took me years of practice and joining Yoga Lily to break the competitive mindset.

Once I was able to do that, strangely I was able to feel more confident on my mat. I

no longer cared about what others were doing around me. And if I did catch a

glimpse of my mat neighbor, I applauded the fact that she had a higher standing split

than I did instead of trying to outdo her. I had to tune out others in order to better

tune in to myself. And the more focused on I was on my body’s limitations and

respect for what my body could handle that day, the more confidence I gained and

the more peace I felt. Now I think, “This is what yoga is all about.

Written by Sarah Eckstein, Yoga Lily Studio Aerialist

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