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Even though I know yoga is not about competition I find myself looking at other students and comparing myself. I don’t want to do this, but it happens anyway. Do you have any suggestions?

This is a very honest question. I have noticed many students doing this in class. I know that most all of us have felt competitive in life at one time or another. Well, at least you are aware of it! So when you catch yourself feeling competitive in class or in life, just bring your focus once again to your body, your breath, or the feelings behind your impulse to be competitive.

What is your intention for being in the yoga class? Are you trying to impress someone? The teacher? Was this a pattern in your family of origin? Was competitiveness encouraged between siblings?

It is all part of the process of becoming aware of our tendencies and thoughts. Certain mind-body types have this tendency more than others. If you are curious, read more about the “pitta” body type in Ayurveda.

Forgive yourself and focus back on your own practice.

Love, Stephanie Pappas

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Once in a while I feel angry with the teacher for making us do certain things in class. Why?

There are different reasons why you may feel angry: the teacher may be over-zealous or lack empathy, you may be pushing yourself too hard, you may be physically over-heated, you may be angry at something else, or you may be picking up on someone else’s anger.

In the first case, the teacher may be pushing you too hard in class, or not instructing to your level of ability. Once a student told me that they felt angry because a teacher asked the class to perform headstands, but did not offer any instruction for how to build into a headstand for the students who were unfamiliar with the techniques. If this is the case, I would suggest speaking to the teacher after class and offer your feedback.

You may feel angry because you are not honoring your body and resting when you need to if the class is getting too challenging. Listen to your own needs and body signals.

Love, Stephanie Pappas

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