“And now, do the other side.”

I was in yoga class, and the instructor had just directed us to stretch our necks by dropping an ear toward one shoulder. It was a “slow flow” class, meaning every pose was one level removed from lying on the ground.

As I moved my head to the opposite side, I felt more of a tug. Nothing wrong per se, just the manifestation of my refusal to keep my feet on the floor when sitting (and no, the subsequent hunching and constant pins and needles from my feet falling asleep haven’t stopped me yet!).

You quickly learn in yoga that each side of your body is different–what feels good on one side might be borderline painful on the other. 

But this time, the difference struck me. 

If even two sides of your own body are different, how can you ever compare yourself to others?

I spend a lot of time thinking about pressure, and how comparison affects our choices and ability to follow our truest intentions.

If you’ve ever felt a pang of jealousy seeing someone else’s achievement or asked yourself why you aren’t “further along,” you know what I mean. 

When I feel the comparison gremlin coming up, I often focus on all the ways I’m different than the other person. Are they older? Did they have a leg up? Is there some advantage I can find to justify their success and stop this madness??

It’s a helpful trick, but sometimes it feels like just that: a trick.

It can stop you in the moment, but not for long.

When I recognize that even different sides of my body, a body that has gone through almost all of the same experiences day in and day out, can feel different, well, it seems silly to try to compare yourself to anyone at all. 

It reminds me of the deeper knowledge, that there’s no way to compare, and never has been. 

No justifications needed.

To being better without a running mental tally,