Non-judgment is a philosophy emphasized in most yoga practices. I chose this topic because it hit home for me recently while attending a yoga class.

I took the class because I admire the instructor’s approach to building strength and calmness. Though, on this day, I felt judged and distracted during class by an aspiring yoga trainee who walked around the room and at one point stood directly behind me invading my cherished mind/body space -- my mat. Then, there was the follow-up alignment adjustment that caused me great pain and discomfort. 

This was truly disheartening for me, because I went to class with an intention to clear my mind and heal my body with an approach that would not force me beyond a state of ease. Typically, yoga provides a nurturing aspect for mind and body and it can even be healing in a medicinal-like way.

This brings me back to non-judgment and why it is so important to practice non-judgment on and off our yoga mats. On any given day, whether in a yoga class or somewhere else, we don’t know how others are feeling or what they may be going through in their lives. Someone may have experienced a recent trauma, they may have received some good or bad news, or they may not be feeling well. Whatever it may be, that person’s approach to the day may be more reserved and less enthusiastic than you expect.

If you see such signs or catch yourself judging someone because they appear to lack effort or interest, or maybe they are a little quiet or distant, try your best to "let go" of judgment, allow space, and just be kind and gentle to that person. I can only guess you’d want to be treated the same way.