Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Iyengar yoga

This morning, I went to a make-up yoga class because I will be out of town during my normal slot on Friday (I have to travel to Pennysylvania to write an article about a Golden Retriever rescue farm, but more on that later). It was a Level 1 class, so it was good to review some basics. It got me thinking about ego.

When you do yoga, ego comes to the forefront a lot, both when you indulge in it, and when you recognize it, step back, and say, "Hmm. Interesting that I should be so full of ego about not panting and gasping in shoulderstand, like that person next to me." Of course, recognizing ego is part of the realization that happens when you do yoga on a regular basis. But where does it come from? Is it bad? Is it good? I suspect it just is.

These are some of the things I discovered myself thinking this morning:
  • This must be Level 1, I am so beyond this.
  • Wait a minute, this is just Level 1, why am I falling over in tree pose?
  • An exercise to prepare for headstand? Oh come on, I can already do headstand, I don't need to do this.
  • That person next to me needs a lot more props than I need. Ha!
  • Hey, this forward bend is really hard today, what's wrong with me?
See what I mean? Ego, ego, ego. But instead of fighting my ego, which tends to make it rear up, get bigger, and get an attitude, I decided to step back and look at it. Ah, ego. I know you. What are you doing here today? At this point, this kind of thinking hasn 't necessarily changed anything in a dramatic way, but I believe it to be just one more baby step towards ascension into a broader sense of self and other. When ego looks like one little dot on a giant map, I'll know I'm getting somewhere. (And then, I'm likely to think, Wow, I am so cool, I have totally transcended ego. I bet that person next to me hasn't...)

Now that I'm home, I am a hungry yogi, but I have to wait because I am speaking to a group of University employees about the Mediterranean diet, for an employee enrichment lunch sort of thing, and they will be feeding me.

Well...maybe just a snack...

1 comment:

  1. Nice to know others think the same thing when they are in yoga. But try going back after not doing it for 9 months or so. It is a quick ego check. And when the instuctor says "Hey Nick, your the only one facing the clock, what time is it?" That will really bring the ego right down on the mat.