5 Ways to Drop Your Ego in Yoga

What is the ego? I mean really . . . What does this three letter word mean? And why do we talk about it SO much in the yoga practice?
The answer is simple – the ego is a problem. And not just a small, we can brush it aside-type problem. The ego is a hold you back, make you feel insecure, compare you to others, negative-type problem.
It’s that serious, friends.
So if the ego is such a problem, why is it constantly linked to yoga (the best thing since peanut butter)?
The answer is simple – yoga dissolves the ego.

Use Yoga to Dissolve the Ego

Yoga, when practiced consistently and correctly, has the power to break apart the ego. The epic combination of breath and movement and intention equals an unstoppable force of freedom, authenticity, and love. In other words, the ego doesn’t stand a chance.
There’s one catch though . . . the above phrase: consistently and correctly.
In order for yoga to work its magic, it must be practiced repeatedly and with purpose. You must be willing to do the work, willing to fall, willing to attempt, and willing to achieve.

Yoga has the power to break apart the ego.

It requires full participation – body, mind, and soul.
So then if that’s the deal, if yoga can create magic, how do we experience that? How do we transform yoga into a tool to help teach, grow, and benefit our present and future life?
Again, the answer is simple – keep reading while I spill all the life-changing deets.

5 Ways to Drop Your Ego in Yoga

Below are five ways to stop feeding your ego, to start listening to your heart, and to start fueling your soul.

1. Keep Your Eyes on Your Mat

The yoga practice is intended to be a very personal, independent experience. While it can be practiced amongst others in a communal setting, it’s still a personal journey for only you to witness and experience.
So, if your beautiful eyes are constantly staring at the mat beside you, and your body is constantly attempting shapes that your neighbor is making, then the practice is no longer a personal journey. The practice has now become a competition of sorts or a comparison of bodies.

The yoga practice is intended to be a very personal, independent experience.

This entire situation of stare downs, comparison, and competition is the ego. It’s not our true self acting, but instead, our fear of not performing, of not looking good, or of appearing less able. To dissolve the ego and keep your practice pure, you MUST keep your eyes on your mat.
The next time you step onto the mat, keep the practice sacred, keep it pure, and keep it personal. Use your ears to listen to the teacher or your heart to listen to your inner teacher. Make shapes that are intended for your practice, on that day, in that moment, with the body you woke up with.

2. Be Your Own Teacher

Think of it like this – the yoga teacher is the guide, the person who shapes and molds the class into an experience, the one who gives direction. It’s your job as the yogi to digest this information, take bits and pieces, and then make it your own.
You have the ability to do whatever you damn please in a yoga class. If this means you lay in Savasana or take Child’s Pose for the entire class, then so be it. If this means you skip every vinyasa, then so be it. Or if this means you weave handstands into the sequence, then so be it.
I want you to understand that the yoga practice is yours. It’s not the teacher’s, it’s not your neighbor’s – it’s 100% your personal yoga practice.

3. Don’t Do Yoga for the Photo

The world of social media is incredibly tricky, especially for those participating in the yoga movement online. It’s a tricky world to navigate as the poses and photos can be incredibly ego serving, falsely gratifying, and eventually lead to injury.
This is not real yoga.
Real yoga is what happens on the mat, with no cameras, with no planned outfits, and with no one watching. Real yoga is the transformation that occurs inside yourself, not the exterior gratification of likes, comments, or more followers.
Are you into the online yoga movement? This is for you: Why the Term “Yoga Porn” is Bullshit

4. Stay Present

This one is easier said than done.
We’ve all been there before – at yoga practice, but our minds are out to lunch. The ego doesn’t like to go unnoticed, meaning thoughts have to constantly churn for the ego to stay present. This is why it’s incredibly important to quiet the mind during the practice and why you’ll hear so many teachers preach that.
Practice with presence, be aware of your movements, keep your breath powerful and consistent, and keep your mind quiet and soft.

5. Trust the Journey

We all know the cliché quote: “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” This cheesy, used-too-many-times quote couldn’t be more accurate about your yoga journey.
There will always be a new pose to try, a new sequence to experience, a new class to take, or a new concept to learn. This is the beauty of yoga: it’s a never-ending well of experiences. And with each experience, we gain more knowledge, uncover more truths, learn to love harder, and live a bit softer.

With yoga, there is no end destination.

Enjoy each practice, each pose, each breath – the beginning, the middle, and the end. Savor and soak up the knowledge of others and yourself. Feel the practice with every part of your being. Never stop growing and never stop doing yoga.
Because, just like the quote says, it’s about the journey. And, with yoga, there is no end destination.

What Are You Waiting For? Drop Your Ego!

Yogis, please use this information – use it for yoga, use it in your relationships, use it for your career, use it for whatever your life needs.
The ego will weasel its way into all of life’s endeavors, so don’t limit these tools to just your practice, but instead use them to better your whole life – body, mind, and soul.
Let’s talk! How do you keep the ego in check? Where do you see the ego come up in your life? How do you practice yoga without feeding the ego?

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Allie Flavio

Allie is the soul behind and a yoga girl at heart. When Allie’s not blogging about yoga/travel advice or doing/teaching yoga, you can find her relaxing by the beach in sunny St. Petersburg, FL. A born and raised Florida girl, Allie is an outdoor junkie who loves the ocean, fresh air, and a delicious fish sandwich! To learn more about her yoga and travel adventures, check out her blog The Journey Junkie.

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