Is it possible to eliminate the Ego from our yoga practice?
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras identify five obstacles to our ability to sail through life with an expansive and joyful consciousness. They are known as the kleshas, and at HYL’s we have been working to reduce the No.1 klesha; the Ego.
Here are some ideas how…
1. Make a dedication.
Start at the beginning of your practice by silently dedicating the time and effort you are about to spend, to something greater than yourself. This could be your concept of a Deity, Higher Power or simply to a soul-like quality that you wish to cultivate such as compassion or peacefulness. You could even dedicate your practice to eliminating your ego.
2. Practice mindfulness on the mat.
Watch for all the ways the ego-focused self tries to be important, in charge and on stage. For example, when you notice an impulse to move past your limit in a posture, assess why you feel the need to do this. Is it to impress the teacher or another student? Is it to prove something to yourself? If ego is involved, back off and remember to honour the body, but not identify with it.
3. Overcome your desires.
Another way to reduce the ego through our physical practice is to cut back on desires, such as hoping the teacher will offer certain postures over others, wanting to accomplish an advanced pose, or looking to be recognized in some personal way. The ego feeds on desires, so this tactic helps lessen its domination of our experience. In this way, we start to chip away at the ego that acts as an obstacle to our spiritual progress.
Trying these simple practices helps us feel far less fear and far more joy, not just in our practice but in our lives…..