While putting the Ten Principles of Yoga into practice, be careful not to be rigid with yourself! While you’re striving to relax, be breathed, feel grounded, and everything else, you may find that you’re trying too hard – either physically, mentally, emotionally . . . or on all fronts. Be gentle with yourself!
Gentleness is a very important practice in yoga -- not pushing your body too far, and respecting your current “edge” (where anything less would feel like not-enough, but anything more would feel like too-much). Physical gentleness is not always easy, especially when we’re trying to master a new posture. Mental and/or emotional gentleness can also be a challenge – permitting yourself to be imperfect is not always a simple thing to do!
When I have trouble being gentle with myself, I imagine a much younger version of me – say ten years old – and direct the mental chatter at that little girl, rather than her grown-up counterpart. It works wonders!
Being gentle with ourselves teaches us how to be gentler with others. No one likes a bully.