Ahh, the ego.
We all have one, and every so often (or, um, every hour or so) it likes to come out and play. And one of the places we can notice it the most?
Our yoga practice.
All too often we can find ourselves starting to compare ourselves to others, berate ourselves, and generally feel not quite good enough. Which I think you’ll agree is a pretty icky feeling. So here are three ways that you can start to let go of the ego – at least for the length of your yoga class.
1. Stay on your own mat
You wouldn’t be so quick to put any other body part on someone else’s mat, so why is it ok for your eyes to fall there so naturally? It doesn’t matter if the person beside you is taking Downward Dog or Child’s Pose, or if they’re wearing Penneys finest or Lululemon. It doesn’t matter how much they weigh, or how long they can hold that Headstand for. Stay on your own mat, in your own practice. Everything outside of that is nothing to do with you, so don’t give it your energy. If this is something you find difficult, our lovely blogger and yogini Anna suggests closing your eyes as much as you can while you practice.
2. Understand that every day is different
Some days balancing in Tree feels as second nature as walking, some days you’re wobbling all over the place. Some days your hips will open in Lizard no problem, some days you need to stay high up on blocks. None of these things are bad, they’re just different. Our bodies need different things every day, so don’t let your ego tell you that your practice has to look the same every day. Go easy on yourself.
3. Forget what you see on Instagram
Instagram is highly curated, and I guarantee that for every one perfectly edited Scorpion pose photograph, there was a lot of practice, falling over, and ‘how does my tummy look in this one?’ None of us are immune to the ego, and we’re all on our own journey.
And I know it was only supposed to be three, but I have to include…
Have an attitude of gratitude
If you have the means to go to a yoga class, the free time to practice, Internet to stream a Youtube video on, a yoga mat beneath you, a functioning body that carries you through your practice – then you have SO SO SO much to be grateful for. I really don’t think that the ego can thrive when you’re living in gratitude.
I really hope these help! The ego gets us all sometimes, so you’re never alone in this. I guarantee that if you ask your yoga teacher, they’ll have felt the exact same way at some point! So next time you’re in class and your teacher calls for another Downward dog, feel free to take a Child’s Pose instead if that sounds good. If your ego pipes up, notice it, acknowledge it, and try your very best to let it go. Like anything else, it’s a practice.
Do you have any other tips? Let us know! 🙂