Self-Compassion  自分への思いやり

YinYang アンバサダー

Looking back the past two months, my schedule was packed with teaching teacher training in Osaka and then workshops in Sapporo. Work has been busy but really rewarding. Now back from Hokkaido, finally I have some time to relax and chill, but I’ve also caught a little cold, nothing serious, just a cold and losing my voice.


<photo : Sandra in Hokkaido, July 2021>

Many people see yoga teachers as the symbol of health. Yoga teachers always look like they are in control of their good health, and have achieved the perfect state of work-life balance.


As for myself, the fact is, I’m constantly losing that balance and striving to rebalance.


Sometimes I just all of a sudden realize that I’m too busy with work and taking care of the family. Sleep and rest are something that get sacrificed. Especially when life gets a bit out of balance, that’s when I find yoga the most valuable.


Like myself, many people live a very busy lifestyle. We juggle our time among work, family, and ourselves. And this “self” is often on the lowest priority. Think about how much time you spend each day to take care of yourself?


That’s why I think self-love or self-compassion is one of the most important lessons that yoga has taught me.


What is self-love or self-compassion? This concept used to sound very cheesy to me and its meaning was really vague. Recently I read a book, Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff, I finally understand this concept a little bit better.


According to Kristin Neff, self-compassion has 3 components, being kind to ourselves, common humanity, and mindfulness.


The first component is relatively easy to understand. Being kind to ourselves, like taking a comfortable hot bath, going to a yoga class, stopping negative self-talk, so do whatever makes us happy.


For myself, I like to buy myself some flowers, spend a quiet time at a nice cafe alone to read a good book, or ask some good friends out for lunch.


The second component of self-compassion, common humanity, means realizing that all humans suffer. Sometimes when we get sick, when things are not going our way, we tend to fall into the negative thinking, “why me?”. Common humanity means to realize that suffering and personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience.


This reminds me of the concept of wabi-sabi. Wabi-sabi means seeing beauty in things that are imperfect and impermanent. The more I see my own weaknesses, the more I can relate to people who have the same struggle. And the more I can accept my own weaknesses, the more compassion I have for others as well.


The last one is mindfulness. This is such a powerful tool to recognize every little joy in our everyday life, and a way to see our negative emotions from a non-judgmental perspective.


Life can get out of balance and out of control sometimes, but we can always choose to appreciate ourselves.


英語:Sandra Fang


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