YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 11.26 – 12.3

“More the knowledge, lesser the Ego, lesser the knowledge, more the Ego.” — Albert Einstein

Weekly Focus: Asmita (egoism)

Most of the leaves have fallen by now, the glamour  of autumn is gone. Let this serve as a reminder to shed the ego, to release from its shell , no matter how desirable it may seem. The beauty left behind is more subtle, can you see it? Asmita is the second of the five kleshas (the roots of all suffering). Asmita is seen as an obstacle or veil that hides the true Self. So what is egoism? Stemming from the root word “ego” (self-esteem or self-importance), egoism is the ethical theory that treats self-interest as the main foundation for morality. I am all for self-confidence, self-trust and love — but self-importance could be a dangerous game. Perhaps when you were a child, you heard the phrase “the world doesn’t revolve around you,” — this is a tough lesson that continues throughout life. For every heartache one may suffer, someone else is likely suffering more. Now this does not discount personal suffering which is valid and true, but it can provide some perspective. Shedding the ego can mean having the ability to decipher when the needs of others (emotional, physical, mental) may outweigh your own. It may also relieve the pressure from your Self to always be pushing the hardest, fighting the strongest. Where do you see asmita showing up for you in life?

Passive Pose of the Week: Reclined Cactus Pose

A simple pose to calm the ego — let your true Self shine forth. Simply lie down onto your back and bring your arms to a cactus position. Get comfortable enough to lie here for 2 – 3 minutes. This can mean bending the knees, or maybe bringing a rolled blanket behind the back of the knees to offer support. It may even be nice to bring an additional folded blanket to rest atop the belly, adding a bit of grounding to this pose. Breathe. What do you feel in our body when you breathe hear with the heart open and broad? Can you soften the thoughts and simply be present with your breath?

Active Pose of the Week: Catur Svanasana (Dolphin Pose / Quarter Dog Pose)

This seemingly simply posture may challenge the ego with its unexpected obstacles. Come to a downward facing dog position to start. Lower one elbow at a time to the ground. Stabilizing the upper body with the elbows + forearms by pressing down firmly through from elbow to wrist. Check in with your hands — you can keep the palms flat to the ground, or, clasp your hands to assist with the downward pressure of the arms. Be careful not to let your head drop to the floor, and slowly start to tip toe the feet closer to the elbows. If the knees need to bend, allow them to. Try subbing this in for your downward facing dogs when wrists start to become tired, or as a great option to work on the strength of the shoulders.