Let Go of the Ego
When my practice first formed it was largely fueled by the ego. I would push myself, sacrificing my breath and my alignment to keep flowing through Vinyasas with the others around me, or to maneuver my body into poses or variations I wasn't ready for. I allowed my ego to convince me I reaped no benefits from simple or child like poses... poses like Child’s Pose!
My practice now looks nothing like it used to, pausing and breathing into each pose to create space, moving with more intention and surrendering to my mat when my body asks for rest. I no longer allow my ego to fuel my practice (most of the time, I am still human). I favor poses that both my body and my breath settle into naturally, poses that help me slow down and find gratitude.
In a society where we are flooded with images of seemingly perfect yogis in bikinis, jumping into handstands and backbends in dream-like destinations, quieting our ego can be a true challenge. When you find difficulty, take a lesson from your inner child; return to Child’s Pose, return to humility.
"If you want a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, the need to judge. Those three things the ego is doing all the time. It is very important to be aware of them every time they come up. " -Deepak Chopra
Why I LOVE Childs Pose
- THE BENEFITS. I won't lie, I usually don't even make it out of bed before I find myself stretching my arms forward, hips to heels and settling into child's. This versatile pose gently stretches the lower back and ankles, opens the hips, softens the front body and neck, and even aids in digestion! Perfect after you’ve woken from your slumber or after a long sequence of standing poses.
- Nurtures + Nourishes! Balasana is a resting pose, its a perfect time to surrender to your mat and re-connect to your breath; your prana, your life force. Take this opportunity to return to your intention and remind yourself that you're only practicing for yourself.
- Gratitude. When I settle into Balasana, I find an immense amount of gratitude. The feeling of my stomach rise and fall against my thighs with my breath and my heart pound in my chest against the floor reminds me how beautifully magical my body and its capabilities truly are. Pair this with a sweaty vinyasa flow and feel gratitude for days.
- Third Eye Connection. This is the perfect pose to use to tap into your Third Eye Chakra, or your intuition. The third eye is located just between the brows at the forehead. Relax your neck and shoulders and begin to rock your forehead from left to right, masaging your third eye chakra. Since Child's Pose is a resting pose you could even go as far as to make this a meditation, repeating to yourself a mantra and visualizing a glowing blue/purple light.
Does your ego fuel your practice? What poses help you find humility?