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Nestled in comparison

Ellen Roggemann

Comparison gets me every time. Even sometimes in my yoga class.

A few years ago in my Sunday yoga class, I was struggling to stay grounded in my own flow. To my right was a man with lots of aggressive energy. To my left was a yoga-fairy of a woman who slipped in a stunning arm balance between each pose. I was nestled between what I try not to do (force) and what I wish I was (a master) feeling both annoyed and envious.

Similarly, the day before, I was buying a ticket to see a dear friend in Berlin. As I thought about how brave she was to have embarked on creating a life true to her talents in an unknown land, my thoughts quickly turned to comparison. She was not only brave and beautiful she was braver and more beautiful than me. Soon I was longing to be her, annoyed at myself and envious of who she had become.

I often get caught in comparison. In yoga and in life. When I do, I focus back on my core, my path, my breath, my mat. I commit to the long haul, recognizing how far I've come and celebrating how much road I have left to enjoy.

The novices can ignite gratitude if we accept them. They make more obvious the gifts we have received through steadily practicing and learning. And the wonder women can inspire and motivate if we appreciate them. They remind us of where we are going and that there is beauty in letting our talents shine.