Sunday, September 18, 2016

It’s All About the Ego, Dude

Clear your mind, the teacher said. Let’s just move along here, my cousin said in his inside voice.

Breathe deeply, breathe into your hips. What? What does this mean?

The teacher walked about the room, he asked permission and then adjusted the student to help ease into the pose. He’s coming near me, my cousin thought. I can do this, I know I can, I’ll show him how good I can be and it’s only my first class!

But the teacher walked by. Ha, I am pretty good, thought my cousin who is also a doc.

The class continued, and each time the teacher walked by. Hmm, no adjustment necessary. I am good!

At some time during the class, my cousin stopped looking around at the other participants. He realized that his hamstrings were tight from running. That when standing he couldn’t touch his mat, That he swayed like the branches of a willow tree in the breeze when he stood on one foot.

His teacher did not adjust him for the first few classes that he attended. Then teacher and the student finally connected.

The teacher understood that in spite of my cousin’s first efforts that he was committed to learn more. The student started to feel some benefits of his yoga class and now stood on one foot at home while he brushed his teeth. He started to be conscious of his breath.

What my cousin didn’t learn until a few years had passed was that his teacher didn’t adjust him in those early days for a reason. He needed to show that he had found his own reasons for continuing to practise yoga. He had to stop using force.

The teacher knew that to continue to learn, we have to put aside what we want to prove, and to breathe into those worrisome places.

And that when we don’t allow it, It’s All About the Ego, Dude

Part 2 of this 3-part series "Ego, our Friend" coming soon.

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