Let’s Celebrate our Differences!

 

One thing I LOVED about my yoga teacher-training was that we were all so different, but there was absolutely NO Judgement.

We spoke about, investigated and celebrated these differences. This was the first time in my life that I felt completely, 100% accepted. Warts and all!

Even if you’re not in the game of becoming a yoga teacher, this is SO relevant to you too.

YOU are unique.

YOU are fascinating.

YOU are amazing!

I hope to convince you that you can notice and accept your uniqueness! To observe it with curiosity and without judgement.

AND you can honour your unique body and mind in ways that will bring the best out of you.

 

Observing without judgement

So, going back to my budding yoga-teacher friends.

Every day we would practice 1 1/2 hours of sweaty yoga together. We’d learn anatomy together, often identifying muscles and bones on each other. We’d eat meals together. We’d practice teaching yoga to each other. We’d sleep in shared rooms.

SO we learned A LOT about each other very quickly.

We quickly knew that some of us were naturally flexible, others were naturally strong. These two extremes are generally mutually-exclusive at the extreme end. So a very strong person tends to be less flexible, and vice versa.

Rather than feel ‘less-than’ others, we’d study and investigate how some poses were naturally easier for some of us, and then marvel at how the less bendy of us were so strong in arm-balance poses.

There was NO judgement. Just observation and interest.

We all knew that everyone had their own ‘super power’ and that these were wildly different from each other.

All of this introspection and comparison was in the name of learning about different bodies, because our future yoga students would all be different, and beautifully unique too!

Mind-body types

It wasn’t just out bodies that were different, but also our minds and personalities. We observed and marvelled at these differences too!

We were all learning Aryuveda, India’s traditional ‘life science’, and so applied what we learned on each other.

Aryuveda describes people to have different mind-body constitutions (Doshas): Vata, Pitta and Kapha (or a mix of 2 or all 3 of these).

 

In short:

  • Vata-types are light, airy, creative, but prone to overwhelm and anxiety
  • Pitta-types are fiery, strong and driven, but prone to frustration and bossiness
  • Kapha types are loving, grounded, and calm but prone to laziness and weight gain

(For a more in-depth description of this see my previous blog: Your Mind-Body type.)

 

Finding Acceptance

We all enjoyed identifying and discussing what Aryuvedic mind-body constitutions we had. We shared with each other the things we found helpful (balancing) and what was our kryptonite (what brought us out of balance).

This exercise brought us so much closer together. It helped us understand how to interact in the best way, and how to be accommodating of each others’ needs.

Everyone quickly realised I was very ‘Pitta’. So if I was a little bossy at times, they’d shrug it off because they knew that was my pitta-personality coming through.

Similarly, the Kapha types of the group loved chilling out on the sofas in the afternoons. So I wouldn’t be offended if they declined my offer of a long walk after class!

(I’d just find another Pitta to join me!)

We also understood that the Vata-types of our group (and yoga teachers are often Vata) reeeeally needed their rest in the weekends. As all that learning, movement and socialising quickly had an overwhelming effect on them.

All in all, we observed and respected our differences, without judgement.

This was the FIRST time in my life that I had such an experience, and it felt AMAZING.

After the 4 intense weeks together I had a whole new appreciation and acceptance of my own uniqueness and that of everyone else.

 

How can this help you?

Have you started thinking about how YOU are unique while reading this?

Undoubtedly, you will have a mind-body constitution that is 1, 2 or all 3 of Vata, Pitta and/or Kapha.

But I urge you to understand that one is not better than the others. They each bring amazing different ‘super-powers’ and well as some different tendencies to keep in check.

When you are aware of your underlying Dosha type (Vata, Pitta and/or Kapha), then you can recognise your strengths and also be more understanding and accepting of yourself when things don’t quite go to plan.

 

A personal example

Knowing that I am a mix of mostly Pitta (productive and fiery) and some Vata (light and airy), I value my creativity and willingness to work hard, yet I know that I am prone to stress, anxiety and snapping at loved-ones (getting a bit heated).

So, I try to avoid becoming frustrated by cooling myself down with a regular yoga practice and mindful breathing, and taking a pause before reacting to someone.

But when I do get heated, and trust me…. it happens, then I try to be forgiving to myself. (And of course, I apologise to whomever took the brunt of it!)

Yoga Homework!

I invite you to observe and study your own tendencies.

Don’t judge! Just observe, notice, be curious.

Try to identify your ‘super-powers’ and value them.

Then try to identify you ‘kryptonite’ and ways in which you could help yourself become a little more balanced.

(If you’re unsure what Dosha constitution you are, and what could bring you into balance, then read my previous blog that goes into more detail! Your Mind-Body Type).

Ps. Also do some yoga! 😜

I hope you enjoyed this mini blog. 🤓

I’d love to hear your views in comments below!

Jolanthe x

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Love, Jolanthe x