Slow Flow Yoga – 8.10.14 (The Role of the Ego)

I just finished filling in for our Sunday Slow Flow Yoga class at Yoga Mindset this rainy afternoon.  I had taken a nap this afternoon and was a bit groggy leading up to 3pm, but the energy that each of the fifteen beautiful folks that showed up was contagious!  It was fitting that we took a vacation during our class since the current state of the Triad is pretty overcast and depressing.  There are a lot of folks that can attest that I don’t take enough time in my life for vacations.  I am a very routine-oriented person that keeps a structured calendar and fill it up quite quickly.  When I started putting Yoga into my life a number of years ago, I forced myself to start looking at life differently.  A vacation allows for a renewal and an opportunity to shut off the repetition of our busy lives.  In doing so, it provides a chance to reflect and dig deeper into our consciousness.  The memories and thoughts that we unpack can be joyful, discouraging and any other possible emotion.  In that process, we exemplify humility.  We’re not perfect beings and it is okay to acknowledge our successes and our failures.  Have you taken a moment to unpack lately?

The Role of the Ego.

The ego is a function of the mind that organizes itself into “I.” The ego is not a bad thing; without the ego, we wouldn’t exist.  The ego takes an event that the senses bring into awareness and makes it personal.

Where things get messy is when the ego forgets that its function is to organize the self and begins to believe itself to be the boss.  When this happens, we get stuck in the “I” of being separate, and we make our belief system the model of reality.  Our belief system is not wrong or right, but it is constraining; when we identify with these constraints, we run on old habits and we consent to being less than we are.

As we unpack the boxes of our belief system, strong and often painful emotions can be released in the process.  These feelings are often related to memories that we have unconsciously used to structure our reality.  Similar to returning from a trip, where we have to take each item out of our suitcase and look at it as we unpack, we have to look at each box and the hidden emotions of experience that led to each layer of protective wrapping around ourselves.

The path of growth is not a straight line; it does not look anything like what we think it should look like.  In fact, often our belief system of what growth looks like, is the very thing that stops our growth.  What we think we know stops our inquiry.  So have a beginner’s mind; to know that we don’t know.  It is this stance of humility that opens the door to learning and revelation.

Book – “The Yamas and Niyamas” by Deborah Adele


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