When it comes to Yoga, we talk a lot about letting go of our ego, how a daily practice of Yoga can help us to let go of all the things that are no longer good for us, that harm us, to de-attach, to understand what really matters in order to achieve happiness, contentment, to live with gratitude and with a big smile on our face every day.
Yoga eliminates all ego, but since I became a Yoga teacher, I have noticed that ego is all around me, and I’m not talking about my own personal ego. I am talking about yogis that surround me, teachers, practitioners and Yoga studios.
Today while I was at work, I came to thinking of how ironic this is and couldn’t help to start singing in my head Alanis Morissette’s song “Ironic”, my head was full of thoughts and wondering all day about it. On my way back home, I was walking out of the train station where there was a young couple singing and playing the song “Ironic”, and I thought to myself, form all the songs in the world, this is the song they are singing? This must be a sign. It was really ironic.
Everyone who practices Yoga and understand what Yoga is all about, knows that we should live with kindness, empathy, gratitude and open hearts. So I ask myself, why in a Yoga community there still is so much ego? Why is it so hard for people to give compliments to one another, why is it that Yoga studios have such big egos and will only hire the “most wanted” teachers? Why is it so hard for teachers to like, recommend, and/or talk good about each other? Why is it so hard to recognize the good in others, their achievements, and their success?
Yoga it’s a pure spiritual science and when we study and practice Yoga, we are thought the 8 paths of Ashtanga Yoga*.
The first path is Yamas (control), where we learn to control our actions, they are guidelines to live in a social environment, teach us how to live together and share, they are social disciplines that guide us to live in harmony and peace with the world.
There are five Yamas: Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (honesty), Asteya (nonstealing), Brahmacarya (Sexual energy control or nonexcess) and the last one Aparigraha (nonpossessiveness or non-attachment).
So, if we are thought this five first and most important principles of Yoga, how come are we not implementing them in our daily life? How come are we still letting ego guide us, take over our actions, thoughts, speech and energy?
Yamas are not easy or simple, they require a daily practice and devotion in order to stop harming ourselves and others, to stop lying and start speaking with truth, to stop stealing what does not belong to us and start cultivating and creating new goals of our own, to stop being greedy and enjoy life without excess and finally, to learn how to live without attachments, without possessions, which at the end they only cause us harm and pain.
I agree that is not easy to change from one day to the other, I agree that it’s not easy to wash away all the layers that society has implemented on our brains since the day we were born, I know it’s not easy to start living a totally different life than the one we thought we will, I know it’s not easy to let go, to de-attach, but I do know one thing, it is easy to love, it is easy to open up our hearts to the world and see the beauty in it, I know for a fact that if there is will the sky is the limit and anything is possible.
I will like to end this post with a quote by Mahatma Gandhi:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”
*The 8 path of Ashtanga Yoga are written on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and they are: Yamas - control, Niyamas - precise control, Asana - postures, Pranayama - breathing techinques, Pratyahara - withdraw of the senses, Dharana - concentration, Dhyana - meditation and Samadhi - supermeditation tequinques.