Are You a Competitive Yogi?
Competitiveness within the world of yoga is a real thing. Seems a little counterintuitive to find competition on the spiritual path to enlightenment, right? Aren't yogis above that sort of thing?
Yogis are humans. And humans sometimes like to compete. When you're in a classroom surrounded by yogis of all different levels, it can be difficult to keep your eyes on your own mat. You look around, you notice students that are seemingly more advanced than you, and you suddenly feel the urge to try harder and to be "better." Occasionally it will stop there; no harm, no foul. But sometimes the desire to be "better" will spiral out of control. Before you know it, you've jumped down the rabbit hole of competition and shit gets ugly.
Here's the thing—just because someone has an advanced asana practice, doesn't mean they're a better yogi or more spiritually enlightened than those that practice the basics. Therefore, comparing yourself to someone else and allowing it to drive you to competition is pointless.
Also, there are no wins in yoga. No medals. No prizes. A perfectly executed jumpback or binding your hands in Supta Kurmasana will not make you a better human or bring you closer to enlightenment. If physical ability doesn't further spirituality, then why are you competing with your fellow practitioners?
Good question, right? Only you can answer it.