Today we are joined with a special guest post by Montana Ross of Pretty ‘Lil Mudder. Give her a warm welcome! She’s a fellow Florida yogi and blogger. Her post is very important for us all–especially yogis! Learning to say BUH-BYE to the ego in your yoga!! Check it out below. And, don’t forget now! Be sure to visit her blog!
GUEST POST: Taking your EGO out of your practice by MONTANA ROSS!!
Recently, my Instagram feeds have been overloaded with photos of yogi’s in crazy awesome looking poses. Twisted backbends with leg lifts, Scorpion pose, fun looking handstand variations. Don’t get me wrong- I post photos of myself doing yoga a lot too. And I’m thrilled that there has been such a following around social media of yoga profiles. It’s awesome how much this ancient art has grown and expanded throughout the Western world. The problem then, is that these yogi’s make the poses look so easy! Sure, let me just bust out a Scorpion pose right now!
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you look like when you’re in a pose. When we focus on how we look, our egos take over, criticizing ourselves over every little variation in our pose that somehow doesn’t look exactly like the pose we saw in that photo online. We risk losing connection with our breath and our savasana. And while it’s great to be inspired by other yogis, we have to remember that we are all starting at different levels, and someone else’s middle shouldn’t be compared to your beginning.
How to Let Go of Your Ego:
1. Remember how to do your asana.
- Do you feel steady? Do you feel at ease? Asana has been described as a steady, comfortable posture. If you don’t have those elements, you may be pushing too hard.
2. Check your breath
- Are your breaths deep, steady and full? Or is your heartbeat racing, your breath shallow and irregular? If you’re feeling stressed, back out of the pose a little. Your body knows what’s right for you.
3. Close your eyes
- Turning off your mind can be hard, especially for us women. One of the easiest ways to maintain this peace-like state of mind is to close your eyes and turn your mind inward, focusing on what your body is feeling and not what you’re seeing. You also won’t be tempted to check out what your neighbor is doing next to you.
4. Change your routine a bit.
- Are you a hardcore hot yoga practitioner, or a gung ho vinyasa flow yogi? Try a kundalini class, or maybe even aerial yoga! Taking a different and sometimes more fun approach to your practice can develop you and your senses in ways you didn’t even realize existed. And since these classes aren’t about pushing yourself, you’ll have no one to compete with!
5. Remember to always practice savasana.
- Practice self-study and self-observation. Develop a constant inner contentment with where you are, because that’s exactly where you need to be. Remember, it’s YOUR practice, not the practice of your neighbor, best friend, or yoga teacher.
Everyone is at a different place in their practice, and we all come to the mat for different reasons. Exploring and listening to your own body is one of the greatest benefits of yoga. One of those days, you’ll be able to perfectly balance in Crow pose, but until now, do the best you can! The rest will take care of itself.
Thank you so much for your post Montana!! It is SO important to listen to your body and not your ego and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Please visit Montana’s blog, Facebook page, and follow her on instagram and twitter!!
How do you keep the ego out of your yoga and life? Let us know in the comments below!!