I’m in Missoula this weekend, visiting family, preparing to present at the Women’s Small Business Opportunity Workshop on Tuesday (yay!), and enjoying some yoga time. After a leisurely coffee stop, I popped in for a lovely vinyasa flow class. A perfectly fine Saturday so far. Then, as the instructor announced that we would be working towards doing pincha mayurasana, my ego barked so loud that I almost jumped: YEEEESSSSSS, forearm stand, I rock that pose!
I looked around. Luckily, no one else seemed to have heard my naughty ego. Whew. Moving on. But as we flowed through asana after asana, I became more and more annoyed that my first reaction to the forearm stand news was so ego-centric. Like the little kid who always has their hand up first and yells Me me me! I know the answer! Where’s my non-attachment? My lack of ego…? Why was I here on the mat today – to fuel my smug and latte-ed up ego? Ugh. Bah. Sooooo non-yogic, I am.
I struggled with this ridiculous internal dialogue for a bit. Then another voice joined in the conversation, a softer, more grounded motherly one: You know what, everyone likes to feel like they are good at something. Everyone likes to be praised. So, when it’s time for forearm balance, allow your ego to shine a little. Give it permission. And when it was time, I will admit, I let ego rock pincha. The instructor came over and asked me if I could take it into scorpion pose, and yeah baby, I did. Me! I know the answer!! It was like the teacher had called on me with my hand up.
Me and my ego left class with that warm fuzzy post-yoga glow. I came to the conclusion (in savasana – more naughtiness!) that I have earned pincha mayurasana; I worked hard to be able to do that pose. So, is it wrong to enjoy being able to do it well? I see the way my 6 year old lights up when I tell her she does something well. Our ego, it’s like a child. We definitely need to set limits, but also provide positive reinforcement. The recurring theme of finding balance. Another lesson on the mat.
Today I let my inner 1st grader shine. No apologies. But I did have a little talk with ego about using her inside voice, especially in yoga class. Namaste.