Leave Your Ego at the Door | yoga + life

Yoga Life Lessons: Leave Your Ego at the Door

My yoga instructor Terri walks through the steps of what we should be doing for a particular pose. She reminds us the points of the posture that we should be working on: shoulders pulling back and down toward our spine, stomach pressing toward our legs, but not sacrificing form to get there.

Then she asks, "Are you doing this, or are you letting your ego get in the way?"
She carries the analogy on, telling about our ego as a caged bird. It squawks and begs for attention, until you cover it and put it in the corner. Or just leave it at the door and don't even bring it in.

Because the ego gets in the way. It's the ego that prioritizes destination over doing it right. It's the ego that cares more about accomplishment than progress. It's the ego that wants to win, and doesn't care if it has to cheat to do so. But there's no place for cheating in yoga, as there should be no place for it in our lives.

What does that noisy little bird do outside of that serene, dimly lit meeting room? It often gets confused with noise that matters. There are so many distractions and voices calling for our attention, placing demands on our time, and putting expectations on our lives. But which one matters? Are we mistaking that noisy squawk of our egos as a voice that matters? Or are we covering it with a sheet and putting it to bed, so we can tune in to the true voice of reason?

The still small voice, leading us through the chaos. (1 Kings 19:11-13) Reminding us that holding our shoulders back toward our spine is more important than bending as low as the person next to us. Telling us to press our feet into the ground, and not let the end result distract us from that firm foundation. Because, for now, the only end we have to worry about is here in front of us. How we are holding our shoulders or where we are placing our feet.

Maybe that will change. Maybe one day our bellies will meet our thighs with little effort, and we'll have a new goal, a new focus. But for now, all that matters, is leaving our ego at the door to not cheat ourselves out of this moment of living as He would have us live.
Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
As our ego would have us do.

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. | Galatians 5:26, 25

also read:
It's Not About Yoga
Everything We Do
Quit Looking at the Picture