Over the last two weeks we have been on a journey of transforming our inner critic. We began by befriending our inner critic and then bringing awareness to our inner critic. If you have not done Yoga 276 or 277 then you need to go back and do those classes now as this series is cumulative and relies on the knowledge you gained in those two classes.
In today’s class we are going to learn what it means to bring acceptance to the role of our inner critic. Remember that the role of our inner critic is to criticize. That is its sole jobs.
Hal and Sidra Stone in their book, Embracing Your Inner Critic: Turning Self-Criticism into a Creative Asset, use the example of Jane’s inner critic and it’s role in her personal and spiritual growth. Here are some of the things that Jane’s inner critic says to her about her spiritual life.
“Well, the best I can say for her is that she tries. She has a long, long way to go, I can tell you that. First of all, she doesn’t meditate enough, and she gets distracted too easily. That bothers me. She sits there and most of the time she is thinking about 100 other things. The worst thing though is that she gets upset too easily. She gets angry at her kids. If she really were spiritual, she would never yell at her kids. It happens with her husband too. She’s always getting angry with him about something. When that happens. I really let her have it.”
Jane’s Rule Maker has made rules that Jane is supposed to live by. Jane is supposed to be loving at all times. Anger is bad. Anger at her children is terrible. Her marriage should be blissfully cordial and she should never have thoughts while she meditates. The more we try to be perfect, the more the pusher, perfectionist and rule maker will come in and show us all the ways we aren’t measuring up. When we try to be loving, our critic will show us how negative we are. When we try to clear our mind from thoughts from meditating all we will do is think.
We can accept that our inner critic’s rules are impossible to live by. As Hal and Sidra Stone point out it is like telling somebody to go and stand in the corner and tell them not to think about an elephant. The harder you try, the harder it is to get the elephant out of your head. The same it is with standards of your inner critic.
In fact, your inner critic is with you right now as you are taking this yoga class on accepting your inner critic and this series on transforming your inner critic. It is gathering the information and it will use it against you. It will probably criticize you for having an inner critic. Your rule maker will say you shouldn’t have an inner critic. Your perfectionist will say you should be doing this series perfectly and your pusher will say you should be doing this series right away and more of it.
When we accept that the role of the critic is to criticize there is some space around it. We accept that the rules of the inner critic are impossible to live by. Accept that radio station KRAZY is playing in our heads and that this is not us. This acceptance is the pre-cursor to change. Every time we are critical of ourselves we can accept the voice of our inner critic, take a step back with kindness and awareness and say, “That is not me who is criticizing myself, that is my old friend the inner critic.”
Yoga Postures/Asanas: Supported Fish or Salamba Matsyasana, Knees to Chest Pose or Apanasana, Lunge Pose or Anjaneyasana, Easy Pose with Bam Mudra for Acceptance, Standing Figure Four, Warrior One or Virabhadrasana One, Warrior Two or Virabhadrasana, Legs Up the Wall or Viparita Karini, Rock the Baby, Dying Warrior, Savasana or Corpse Pose
Yoga Props: yoga blocks, wall, meditation cushion, chair
Turn Stress into Bliss: The Proven 8-Week Program for Health, Relaxation, Stress Relief by Michael Lee
(click here to get it through my amazon link)
Embracing Your Inner Critic: Turning Self-Criticism into a Creative Asset by Hal and Sidra Stone Ph.D.
(click here to get it through my amazon link)
Today’s question to respond to in the comments is: Have you noticed your inner critic criticizing you for having a critic?
We can give you even more value and support in your journey to transforming your inner critic on our membership site. Check that your name is showing up in our credits at the end.
Ivy has begun to create a companion journey in her devotional section that I would encourage you to take a look at if you are a member:
A short Bhagavad Gita class: The Divine Splendor of our True Self 20 mins
The 15 min TCM stomach yin yoga sequence from the morning series, take this class from the perspective of accepting what is offered to you through the day. It is a great class to observe how you accept or reject what is happening in your life.
A 5 minutes Welcoming the now Meditation from Amanda for acceptance
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Sending you much love from beautiful British Columbia
May you experience the strength of our mountains
May you be as rooted as the trees in our forest
May your joy be as deep as our Pacific Ocean
Yoga with Melissa 278 Photos of Yoga Poses