Monday, October 24, 2011

My Ego and My Yoga Practice

This post came about after I read Elephant Journal's blog post "Pull Your Ego Out of Your Asana". 

"The next time you roll out your mat, look deep into your ego and what it does to your practice. If you're practicing obsessively because that defines you as a yogi, that's ego.  If you're so caught up about missing a class or even a week of practice, that's ego.  If you think you need to look a certain way in a pose, that's definitely ego.  Achieving a deep posture is not the goal of yoga, however it's the practice of being calmly aware of the present moment, even if you're falling out of a pose."

The above paragraph made me reflect on my own yoga practice. 

Is my ego taking over my practice?  My answer is..."when I allow it to".

Sometimes, I find myself so caught up in attaining the poses that I do not want to miss a class.   There are times when my body gave me signals to take a rest but I just ignore them and went to class. And I realized that those are the times when I felt unsatisfied and frustrated with my poses.

Letting my ego take over has also resulted in trying to twist and bind my way into the poses even though my right elbow which has not completely healed was not ready for them.   Giving myself excuses and trying to ignore the pain in my elbow have been my way of dealing with it.

Although I have set my intention and is aware not to let my ego dictate my practice, I still find that occasionally in class I had allowed these feelings to come into play, "It's feel so good whenever the teacher gave me praise", "I think I am much better at this pose", etc.

I am learning to turn away from those feelings and not allow them to surface by maintaining a connection with my awareness and being present in my practice by using my breath and focusing on my drishti. 

I also noticed that my progress in some of the poses came about when I was willing to wait for it to happen.  It took me so long to able to go into Headstand which only came about after having fallen so many times in class. 

I am certain that I will be able to progress further in all the other poses if I take my time instead of trying to rush into them  And skipping classes once in a while whenever I feel like it will be my way of preventing myself from getting too attached to the asanas. 

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