Goodbye Ego

The day I let my ego go started like any other…

Each morning I awoke I was washed with a wave of guilt and anger. Not because I had done anything wrong, not because I had forgotten anything important, but because I was not practicing (for a good reason mind you). I did not know how to accept an injury, I couldn’t be slowed down, I couldn’t modify. I could not let go. And why was this so hard for me to accept? Because my ego would not allow it. The amount of pressure I had placed on myself to achieve the postures I wanted, to run the 6 miles, to be on top of everything, to be the best, well this was my ego, and it wouldn’t allow me to just step back. It wouldn’t allow me to take this as a teaching experience. 

And then one morning a light clicked on, I decided I had enough of this. How could I tell people to let go and be gentle and kind to themselves when I wasn’t? So I practiced ahimsa (non- violence, especially to oneself). I would never judge someone I loved for doing what was right, and resting was what was right. I decided to stop feeling guilty for the previous days and to stop feeling sad.  That night one of my teachers gave me the best advice “Just picture yourself doing sun salutations, and breathe”. I went home and I did this. I finally allowed myself to accept this and to slow down. I did this again the next day and the next.  And then I found the courage to practice, modified of course. It was beautiful.

A few days later I attended my first class, with the understanding of the teacher that was I going to modify and I was very clear about my limitations. I fully let go. The sound of my breath as inhaled, exhaled. Each breathe surrendering a little more. Taking in the energy of the room, the support of the mat, I was back where I belonged. I soaked it all in, and it was lovely. I left that day feeling whole, back to me. I had completely surrendered. I will never be the girl with perfect arm balances, perfect hair (curls are a hard thing to master especially after a yoga class), or that has every bind, and that’s ok. It took me so long to realize just how ok that is. No one is asking me to have those things, only my ego. I have never felt so connected to my practice as I do now. My practice is for me, and it makes me a better person. I shed my ego, and I am building my strength up again. And when I go to my mat, I find a place of no pressure.

“When we judge ourselves we break our own hearts” Swami Saccidanada

{contributed by Yoga Bar teacher, Ashley Molloy}

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