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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tip of the Week: Let Go of the Ego

For many of us high-achieving perfectionist Bikram yogis, we want to do each posture to its fullest extent to push ourselves and prove to ourselves that we can do it. And while it's good to want the best, sometimes it's good to take a step back and ask ourselves if perhaps we need to work on the basics of the first part of a pose before continuing on to the next part. A good Bikram teacher is always going to remind us — “form before depth” — getting the initial part of a pose solid and stable before moving deeper into the posture.

From blogger Yoga Peach: Let go of your ego on the mat and in your daily life. Skip the “E” and just let it GO. Stop thinking about what you can’t do on the mat, remove expectations and judgments throughout your practice, and let go of the ego that sometimes pushes us too hard.  I know, I know…when it comes to my personal fitness expectations I’m still working on that last one. Sometimes I need to remind myself not to push past my physical limits. Our own judgments and criticisms of ourselves so often hold us back from our full potential. Leaving your shoes and ego at the door in yoga (and everything else) is mandatory for success.

One never “masters” yoga and mastery has little to do with how impressive your postures appear or how many difficult and fancy postures you can do. Mastering yoga is a process of overcoming your obstacles and limitations through dedicated practice, and experiencing exploration, growth, progress and transformation.  Go back to the basics and take what you learn on the mat from even the most simple class and apply it off the mat in daily life.

It is all about surrendering the ego. If we learn to open up a dialogue with our own bodies, listening to what they need on a moment to moment basis, then we can avoid slipping into the competition trap, or worrying about doing each pose perfectly. The fact is, some days are better than others. We’re never going to reach the same level of depth every single day, so listen to your own body, ignore the person on the mat next to you and surrender the need for perfection. It’s a journey, not a destination.

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