Yoga and the Ego
Elisha Jachetti, Certified Personal Trainer
Remember that time during yoga class when you wanted to see just how far you could go? Your body may have been telling you to stay put, but your mind wanted you to push just a bit farther to prove that you could. When you do, you feel a pull and then some kind of pain that takes you out of class for the next week or so to recover. What is the problem here? Of course, it is great to have strong drive and motivation when it comes to your wellbeing and fitness level. As poses become easier, not only will you want new stimuli, but your body will actually need it in order to change and grow. However, where is the line? Can this ambition lead you too far?
In yoga, the goal is to abandon the ego. Every time you come to class, you are not supposed to compare yourself to others. In fact, you should not even compare your present performance to the past ones. Each and every time you come to the mat, it will be different. It should be different. What many yogis preach is the idea of being in the present moment and accepting those circumstances without judgement.
It certainly is natural to want to be better. Yet, more flexibility and strength will come in time with regular and consistent practice. You cannot rush the process and if you try, you could end up with an injury, halting your progress completely. Therefore, it is crucial to listen to the body and honor what it tells you. Likewise, it is also important when coming to yoga to leave the ego at the door. It will not only be helpful for the mind and soul, but it will support exercising with clarity, focus, and greater awareness.