Before I found the exciting world of ashtangi.net blogs, I was spent quite a lot of time in the virtual community for military wives and GFs – its funny how they compare. Most of us on the military forums had partners posted in the Middle East, and there is a certain solidarity and great support that can be found from people in similar circumstances. However, the e-community exists because the real life community is so tough. Many of the spouses try to carry their husbands rank and there is a huge about of snottiness where people don’t believe you are good as them… This differs a lot from the yoga community both real and virtual where the people tend to be supportive in their nature – part of being a yogi maybe.

What I do see though is competitiveness – people try and compete under any circumstance…. how long has your partner been in Iraq? 6 months, well mine was away for Christmas and valentines day, and only got 1 week R & R….. Or, I got this pose, practiced this many times per week, got my legs behind my head and bound….

This isn’t meant to be a criticism of anyones blogs, most of which are written with compassion and and a genuine desire to pen their thoughts about their pratice – mine included, I hope. But I ask myself, what is competition, why is it so built into our nature? I guess it comes from the animal instinct where you needed to be the best to survive. But why now do now we want to be perceived to have the worst luck, the best practice, the best car, the biggest house, just to single ourselves out from others? Surely we should be striving for non attachment, letting go of these things. Yes, be there to support, but don’t judge yourself or anyone else.

People always describe me as being competitive, but I feel like I only compete with myself. I honestly don’t care that much if the person on the mat next to me can forward fold better than me, back bend better than me, whatever! I just want to do the best in myself. I want to improve to show that i have achieved something for myself. Yoga, to me, is partly about finding some time and space for myself. But is this competition with myself any better than competing with others, am I too hard on myself?

My new years resolution was to shed my identity, just for a little bit, to remove myself from the life where I am judged by the clothes I wear, the job I do, the clients I have, where I live. I went to India on my own and it was great, I met and made friends with people who I might not have got to know otherwise, I took time to practice my yoga, and told myself that I would continue to live like that when I got back. It has been 9 months now, and I do try not to let work take over my life – to find that 2 hours per day to dedicate to me, to my yoga practice, whether that is a physical practice or not; to be kinder and more compassionate and try not to judge people.

Today I did make it onto the mat – only a gentle practice, but nice to feel the muscles stretch and work.

I think this post was a bit of a ramble, I’m tired and my mind is not focused. My bed arrived though, so I will hopefully sleep well tonight.

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