Forgoing judgment can be easier said than done, especially when it comes to ourselves, our own lives, and our practice. It’s easy to look around and see the differences between you and others, compare yourself, and suffer with the resulting negative vibe.

That harsh judgement can take us to a very dark place. It’s only after dealing with one’s share of darkness that one realizes it’s in those somber moments when we must focus most on our light; the bravery of our spirit; the courage we need to live our lives; and the courage it takes to show up to our mat.

That self judgement almost kept me from my mat recently. Walking up the quaint wooden stairs to the Flow Yoga studio in Leesburg, I was filled with doubt. Was I good enough to get through the intense, 90-minute Earth Day vinyasa class? It was given by one of the toughest and most brilliant, loving, kind-hearted, and funny instructors I have come across on my journey.

At the top of the stairs, I took a deep breath and with the exhale, I said to myself, “check your fear at the door.” It almost felt as if I was reading a printed doormat. Took another deep breath; exhaled. And left it all behind when I opened the door and stepped on through.

Where does my fear come from? Am I afraid of being judged or mocked? Truth is, I am. But it’s not because of how others see me. It’s because of how I see myself. As mindful as I am of my thoughts, my ego sometimes tries to get the best of me. Unwanted visitors just sneak into my head and do the impossible to take over.

Class was absolutely riveting. Those 90 minutes came and went, almost in a breath. My eyes were watery at times, as the instructor spoke about our Mother Earth with so much love, kindness and gratefulness. For all that SHE does for us. For all that SHE provides for us. We are Earth’s sons and daughters. We owe her respect, admiration, gentleness, humanity, tenderness. We owe our bodies the same considerations. This physical body, this temple, this sanctuary that carries our spirit needs to be fed daily — some days more than others — with self love, healing light, positive vibrations.

Like the nourishing rain that brings the trees and flowers blooms, our thoughts are seeds we plant into our subconscious. Which makes me stop and think. What am I looking to sow?

— Narima Love

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