One of the things that I really like about yoga is its orientation towards personal responsibility. This idea is that we are entirely responsible for the experiences we have. As an example, let’s say you attend a yoga class and you hate it, but the person next to you attends the same class and they love it.
The class itself was exactly the same. The difference was in the meaning you each ascribed to it. You may come to the class with a certain set of life experiences that predisposed you to interpret the class one way. Another person came into the class with a different set of life experiences, which predisposed them to interpret the class a different way.
So let’s say, though, for argument’s sake, that it was actually just a terrible class. Is our reaction to that class then justified? And actually, Yoga’s teachings would remind us that whether we enjoyed the class or not, our reaction is always about us. One person in that class might feel angry. The next person might find it funny. The next person might be grounded in compassion for the teacher.
Take personal responsibility for your outlook in life
While the choices that we make are always about us, what happens around us rarely is. I really love that because I think it pushes us to take full responsibility for every action and every reaction we choose.
It’s a worldview that can feel a bit annoying at first. Particularly in those moments when we really want to place responsibility for our experience in the hands of someone else. But on the flip side of that, I think it’s kind of awesome because we can choose the meaning we give to anything. Which means the power is always ours.
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