“In fact, if you do it with ego or obsession, you’ll end up causing problems.’ A lot of people don’t like to hear that.” –Glen Black from NY Times article How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body
The word ego is Latin for “I” or “self”. Over time with the change of society and technology, the needs of the ego have also changed. With information being spread at the speed of light, we often find that the ego wants to have its needs met instantaneously. When we do not get what we want immediately we may have feelings of frustration, anger, and/or sadness. So in order to satisfy the needs of the ego we do things that may not be the healthiest for us and we end up hurting the self instead of helping the self.
In yoga we are encouraged to practice with a beginners mind, which means to be curious and open to different ideas and will lead us to a place of possibility and opportunity. Practicing yoga with a beginners mind is having a strong sense of studentship. Yoga is not about doing a performance of poses for 75 minutes, which is usually what the ego wants to do in order to be satisfied. Instead, yoga is about going beyond the ego, listening to your body and working to your ability.
Being a strong student is about being able to listen and take note. Listen to what your body says and listen to what your teacher says. By cultivating studentship you open yourself up to receive knowledge, insight, and deeper consciousness. Whether you are new to yoga or not, practicing with a beginners mind and strong studentship will take you beyond the ego and into your heart, allowing your self to learn, grow, and evolve into your highest being.