It's so hard!! I mean a lot of yogis in the west are massaging their egos all the time by taking #selfies doing their 'yoga' practice, posting it, sharing it.... this is not very 'yoga'. In this crazy materialistic, rat race of a world it is really hard to reduce the negative impact your ego has on your well-being.
It took me a while to even decide I wanted to reduce my ego! I supposed that if I didn't have this drive to prove myself and massage my ego I wouldn't have achieved any of my achievements. But gradually through yoga practice I realised the ego was just another part of 'maya' or in other words just another thing in the way of a calm still mind.
Need convincing? Think about it... this proud concept of yourself is actually really damaging you. Have you ever had conversations with people that seemed more like a lecture from them, they don't listen they just tell you how amazing they are? I'm watching the olympics at the moment, someone like Bolt telling us why sport needs him (ok he's pretty successful but so unbearable!) v.s. have you ever spoken to someone so incredibly calm and humble... how confident do they seem? How nice are they? How happy are you when they succeed? Think about UK's breaststroke World Record Gold medallist.
But in a world of #selfies and airbrushed posters and facebook and likes and rankings... how hard is it even for 'yogis' to grow beyond their ego?
Try these three simple exercises at the studio to work on that ego of yours!
Dedicate your practice to someone you hate
Easier said than done. It puts you beyond yourself though. And it's so humbling to find how difficult it is to balance, to move and to smile while 'giving' your practice to someone you don't like.
Practice your worst Asana
Working on something you are not naturally good at allows you to accept your weaknesses. This is me and pigeon, still my hated pose- even when pregnant when I should have had loose hips, still an exercise of working through my ego! Probably one you need the most though.
Rock out Child's Pose
When you can do a whole yoga class and take the 'easy' option for every single pose and not care and not compare with the other yogis around you in the studio.... you're winning! So rock that child's pose every down dog. Take chaturanga on your knees and even chill in savasana meditating for an hour. When I have students who do this I know that they are listening to their body and their needs not to their ego.