The Common and Futile Act of Comparison

When I’m teaching I frequently have students compare their practice to mine. For example, when I demo a forward fold, I have ample space and it is a nearly effortless pose. They look at their forward fold and mine and theirs again and nod their head or try harder to force their posture to look more like mine. I immediately tell them that if they taught yoga all day long every day of the week then maybe they can compare their forward bend to mine but even then we have different body types, different demands in our lives and we will never have the same practice.

We are all fundamentally different inside and out. Even though I frequently give this little lesson on the foolishness of comparison, I still find myself doing it all the time. A lot of my dearest friends have vastly different jobs, have different personalities, different strengths and yet here I am a single mom, working to put my magical daughter through school and feeling sorry for myself because I can’t find the time to be as social as I perceive them to be. First of all I know it’s a false perception that the ‘poor me’ part of my mind has created. Secondly when I sit back and look at my life I see how I go through shifts and challenges and transformations in ways that I could not even explain to anyone else because they are not living my life, and vice versa.

You’ve probably heard me discuss Kleshas before. But to recap, in yoga and buddhist philosophy the Kelshas are the many different ways we create our own suffering. Avidya, is the first Klesha. Avidya refers to suffering created by our own ignorance. It is an ignorance that comes from identifying with false perceptions.

When I honestly look at my life, my work and my inner landscape I see, feel, know how magical I truly am, how blessed my life is. My relationship with the other dimensional spaces fills me with such a fulfilling unique power. And still I am a human (at least I think so) with human needs, desires, we all are. So here I go again…reminding us (a loud reminder to myself) that we are all in this together. Don’t compare, appreciate and honor the unique and powerful YOU and know that we are all brilliant divine beings creating our own diverse and perfect universes.