October 13, 2011

My Ego

I have just, in the last few months, started becoming very aware of my ego in my yoga practice.  I think it began when I hurt my shoulder and I could not complete a Bikram class to what I guess you could say is my full potential.  My Half Moon Pose was only a Quarter Moon because there were no arms in the air.  I took this really hard.  I was very frustrated.  I hated it.  I felt defeated.

A teacher mentioned to me a little while ago that there are no modifications in yoga.  You go to your 100%, there is no modification, simply try to your ability.  If you can't kick out in Standing Head to Knee for a while, that is OK, it is your 100% and that is all that matters.  I like this because modification sounds to me like a crutch or an excuse which have negative connotations associated with them.  YOUR 100% is exactly that, the space you can go at that moment to the best of your personal ability.  Because yoga is exactly that.  A personal practice.

I am trying to carry this thought into my own practice.  I will do my 100% in my practice and it doesn't matter what it was the day before, the week before or what the person next to me is doing.  As long as my alignment is correct and I am focused and trying, it is all that matters.

Because of this, I have lost all interest in competing in the next Yoga Asana Competition.  I know that some people say that the competition is not about judgement and it's not about competition but, to me, it is.  You are getting scored on your performance in your asanas.  You feel external pressure.  There is bull shit about which poses are allowed to be performed and which ones are not and the more difficult they are, the more amazing people think that you are.

When I was training for last year's competition I started getting really hard on myself.  I did push myself hard, which was good, but I also became critical.  I don't like this criticism.  I know I could work on not criticizing myself but I would rather focus on my complete practice than trying to get the highest marks that I can in certain poses.

I'm not saying that no one should compete.  I think for some people it's great.  But for me, it does not belong in my yoga practice.

One thing it did teach me, though, is that I am capable of so much more than I ever thought I was - mentally and physically.  The competition last year allowed me to find a drive inside of me that I never knew existed.  Since the competition, I have pushed myself harder, physically and mentally than I ever have in my entire life.  

My yoga is where I am discovering myself and letting the critique into my yoga practice is not doing me any favours.  I am trying to leave my ego behind when I step onto my yoga mat.  I want my yoga to be my peace.    

1 comment:

Spring said...

Lovely food for thought