One of key attitudes we are invited to bring to our yoga and mindfulness practices is that of kindness.Kindness, often used synonymously with compassion, refers to the wish that a being not suffer, combined with sympathetic concern. Self compassion, or kindness towards ourselves, is applying that wish towards ourselves.When was the last time you really wished yourself not to suffer?
We can bring kindness towards ourselves, to our bodies, to our thoughts and emotions, to our practice. As we come to the mat or meditation cushion or chair, we are encouraged to check in with ourselves and see what's going on - with an attitude of kindness towards what we find.Perhaps our body is stiff or tired today, and is finding planks and more challenging poses tough. That's OK. Take a breather and rest in child's pose. Perhaps the mind is busy, chatting away, ruminating, noisy, worrying. It's impossible to meditate or just be with that going on! Kindness would be allowing the mind to be noisy, noticing the chatter. Suffering would be forcing ourselves to continue with a tough practice, or berating ourselves for not being able to meditate 'properly'.But we do this ALL THE TIME.I don't think our modern world encourages us to be kind. We are always comparing, improving, striving, wanting to get somewhere. Endless competition. Our language: I deserve a drink; treating myself. The pervasiveness of 'nice', especially for women. Nice isn't always the same as kind. Sometimes kindness is really hard.In classes this week, we will be practicing with a kindly attitude. Whether the poses are easy or more challenging, cultivating kindness towards what we find in our bodies and minds.Kindness is a key component to all mindfulness practices. it is interwoven into each practice, but we also spend time looking at how to cultivate compassion as separate class.For more on self compassion in today's world, you can't beat Dr Kristen Neff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvtZBUSplr4