There is no place for competition in yoga. Yet how many of us compare ourselves and judge others when we look at Yoga Journal, Instagram, and maybe even other people in class?
When we compare and judge, we only create anxiety when we feel we are not good enough and superiority when we think we are better than others.
We must practice Santosha, or contentment, so we are not warring with ourselves over what we cannot do, and instead making peace with what we can do that day. However, contentment does not mean complacency.
We must experience Tapas, or a burning desire, when we challenge ourselves to practice with intensity and without attachment to the results. We must be willing to work hard, to learn, and grow, without judging.
Both Santosha and Tapas are necessary not only in our asana practice but in all aspects of our lives. They work together to alleviate feelings of anxiety and lessen the ego. They encourage us to appreciate where we are and what we are doing at that moment.
No winners, no losers.