Practicing Empathy Through Yoga

Posted on   March 7th, 2013 by  admin


During a recent yoga class, I was reminded of the empowering practice of ‘empathy’.

Empathy is the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by a person other than you.

Having empathy towards another person’s struggles or misfortunes can also show us the path to the lesson of compassion. Compassion can lead to gratitude for the good we have in our life. So Empathy is very important. It is a great beginning to a path of personal growth.

Empathy is non judgmental.

Put yourself in the shoes of another person whose story you are hearing and see how it feels for you.  See what emotion it raises. Is it a fear that one day you could be in this position?  Does it remind you of where you have come from and the long road you have taken on your own personal growth?   Do you then realise how far you have come?

Hearing shared stories during a yoga class brings a shared empathy.  A larger energy can then be offered as a healing source throughout the class to all.

Everyone has daily trials and personal hills to climb.  Sometimes, the battles seem to be endless, but to be reminded that we are not alone in these experiences is a great insight.

Learning empathy during a yoga class can come from the unexpected. It could come from watching a beginner yogini and knowing how intimidating it can be to first watch those experienced and think will I ever get there? This is where ego should be left at the door when entering a yoga class because we are all beginners that day, at that class, because we all walk in to learn the same thing.

Empathy for other people expands the connection we strive to receive in attending a yoga class. -  Something that isn’t attained through home practice.

“Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.”― Gautama Buddha

Charne Murphy

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