Yoga with Melissa 382 Heart Stabilization Series: Judgment

by Melissa West on May 5, 2017

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Yoga and Judgment


As Jack Kornfield says, for many of us judgment is a painful theme in our lives. Our reaction to it is to see what is wrong with it and the judging itself continues to be strong and painful.

Trying to get rid of our judging is another judgment in and of itself. We notice our judging and then we say to ourselves, ¨I shouldn’t be judging. More judgment. We judge ourselves. We have our standards of what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.

On Tuesday of this week I went on what Tim would call a bender of anger, rage and judging others. Wednesday I woke up full of remorse and self-judgment. Jack Kornfield says, to understand the judging mind, we need to touch it with a forgiving heart. Jack Kornfield says, ¨To become fully conscious , we must fully allow each difficult state we have rejected – including our judging mind – to come back into our heart.¨

My teacher, Reggie Ray would say it a little differently, when judging happens, come into your body, feel what is happening. Reggie explains that self criticism is a defense mechanism against what is actually happening. So we come back to our body, our present moment circumstances and check in with what really is happening.

Sometimes the things that are coming up in our lives are very painful. Rage. Anger. Judgement. These things are completely inconsistent with our image of ourselves. They are completely out of alignment with our self image. When we feel rage, anger and judgment, our beliefs about who we are as a person being called into question. It is painful, destabilizing, and threatening.

We judge ourselves, and Reggie explains that this is a discursive way of jumping to conclusions about what is coming up for ourselves. We start spinning. This spinning is a way of avoiding what is actually happening for us. What is being asked when judging is happening is for us to come back into our bodies. We just need to be present to what is happening now.

The tendency to judge ourselves is simply all the ways that we avoid the direct experience of life itself. Instead our teachers ask us to be kind to ourselves. Be generous with ourselves and let go of judging ourselves.

¨We have to take the risk ourselves, on our selves. We have to be willing to be a person, that according to our judgments, should not exist.¨ Reggie Ray

Props Needed: 2 blocks, bolster

Yoga Postures or Asana: Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclined Bound Angle Pose, Knees to chest pose or Apanasana, Pigeon Pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, Lunge Pose or Anjaneyasana, Compassionate Eagle Pose or Garudasana, Peaceful Warrior, Gomukhasana or Cow´s Face Pose, Savasana or Corpse Pose, Mushtika Mudra
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Weekly Yoga with Melissa #382 Photos of Yoga Poses

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  • Valéria Cesar da Costa

    Thank you! Thaks for reading my testimonial, it meant so much to me! Just preparing for the class, once again certain of its precious value. Thanks for being with me in this journey. Best best regards

    • Thanks for practicing with me Valerie and for leaving great comments! 🙂 With gratitude, Melissa

  • Carla Van de Schoot

    I relate to the comment below; I have been with you for 4 years as well this month and it means very much to me too. I was also very moved by your words at the end of the class. By all your words really.

    • Thank you for your presence over the last four years Carla. I appreciate the time you take to leave your comments. Thanks for letting me know this class was meaningful to you. <3

      • Carla Van de Schoot

        After last weeks Anger class I did the Kali class you recommended. It was quite challenging!
        With some of the “older” classes I somehow don’t manage to find the right spot for leaving comments

        • Sounds good Carla 🙂 No worries, always good to hear from you 🙂

  • Sally McCutchion

    Thank you Melissa and Tim. Warm and gentle hugs, Sally

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