Yoga: Fear, Ego and Practice

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When I began taking yoga, years ago, it was as a dancer. I had a very specific goal – increase strength and flexibility. Many of the poses in classes I attended were “easy” for me and I simply didn’t “get” it.

In many classes, instructors would remind the class to leave their egos at the door. In other words – don’t show off. This was a personal battle.

Eventually, I would take a class to support a friend and my practice changed forever. I surrendered my ego and focused on myself, on my mat.

Yoga is extremely important in my life, but it hasn’t been about the difficult poses. It has been about the experience.

Well, it turns out this was a lot like running. Seriously, I’m competitive and love pushing my body to new places. I gave up on the hard poses because I was scared of failure (and falling on my head).

It is also hard to find classes on the Cape that show you how to get there. I need to feel how something works. In other words, I need a teacher or friend to help me pick up my feet.

When I decided to participate in the FitFluential and MPG Mondetta yoga challenge, the last week instilled fear. The dreaded scorpion was towards the end of the month. I had never come close to trying and frankly it scared the living daylights out of me.

Could I do it? How do people even pick their feet up? Well, my friend ego stepped in and pushed me through my fear.

I asked another instructor to help me. I know – no brainer, but harder than it seems. Thanks to friends who helped me get my feet up (and take the picture) I overcame my biggest yoga fear!

Do I feel a complicated pose makes someone more of a yogi? Absolutely not. I think it is trusting yourself and your instructor that takes the practice deeper. This is different for everyone.

I was excited about my accomplishment all day! I learned that it’s ok to let your ego push you through the fear and to trust the practice.

What have you tried that scares you? Does it make you nervous being upside down? Do you practice yoga?

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10 thoughts on “Yoga: Fear, Ego and Practice

  1. Yoga is so humbling to me — I can do some of the “impressive” strength moves but some of the simplest ones elude me cause I have terrible flexibility. It always reminds me that every pose is a victory — eg child’s pose vs scorpion, they are both awesome and one isn’t better than the other

  2. Yoga has definitely been the one thing I’ve included in my life that has helped develop a trust in myself and my body, regardless of the pose. It has also shown me how important it is to take care of my body. Congrats on pushing through the fear!

  3. Wow, I had never seen that pose. You look fit as a fiddle doing it. I miss the classes and that yoga room. Just another couple of weeks and I hope to get the doctor’s okay to resume exercise.

  4. There are so many lessons that yoga offers and it can be so hard to put your ego (and fear) aside. For the longest time, like 10 years, I was so afraid of inversions. They were so disorienting to me. But I took a great workshop that broke it all down which is what I needed. I needed to understand that anatomy and structure of what I was trying to do. Slowly, with lots of practice, I’ve worked on inversions. They are still a weak part of my practice but I learn so much from them. Great job working through your fear.

    • Thank you 🙂 I also like the anatomy and the “how” broken down for me. The workshop sounds amazing! My friend and I were just talking about how great it would be to have someone help get you into the inversions and really break them down. Now that I’ve tried it, I hope to have the opportunity for more practice!

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