The Ego, Self & Compassion
Threw my back out once again. This year has been a rather testing year for me, what with that immune problem [shingles], an aggravated hip tendon/muscle/thingymajig and now, my lower right back hurts. I don’t know what the hell I did, but it is sure not the result of having one too many Margaritas and ending up on the wrong side of someone else’s bed.
So I sought the advice of the always fabulous Mrs.23 aka Juicy, of Mission Yoga [in San Francisco]. She then gave me the advice I needed to hear at the right time “When u r killing u’rself/ego, don’t forget the compassion for u’rself. Be loving. :-)”
I then went back to all the times I have practiced with students. As a teacher, my practice has now changed NOT JUST because of Teacher Training, but hugely because of, how should I say … expectations. Gone are the days where I would sit out a pose of I felt dizzy or if I started cramping out too early. I do not allow myself to sit out of the postures simply because I know the students are looking at me and my practice. As a teacher, and a young [in age and in tenure of teaching] lady in Asia, I know of the concept of having ‘face’. That means, maintaing a proper image and doing the wrong thing just to please everyone and maintain a facade.
2009 International Yoga Champion (Women’s Division) Courtney Mace once said, “[Competition] happens every time you step into the hot room, and it’s a competition between the ego and the soul. And the soul always wins.”. Unfortunately for me, my ego has always won. Not the ego that says “Yes, I am BETTER than you”, but the ego that is the fear of not doing well. Essentially, 2 things always hold us back in life, and that is fear and ego, and ego is really FEAR of not doing well. Coupled with my Type A personality and ferocious tenacious attitude for perfection, I sometimes don’t know how to back down when I really need to.
I admit, some days before I step in the room and I know that I’m not feeling well, I start to get worried whether people will judge me when I opt to sit out of a posture. “But you are a TEACHER, how can you NOT do it?”
I then realised that like what Juicy said, I should kill my ego but above all, have compassion for MY self. Having compassion doesn’t mean being LAZY – it simply means knowing how to take it down a notch when I am not feeling it. I can count the number of times I nearly blacked out  but I still carried on through class even though I was already swaying and looking 5 shades paler than Edward Cullen.
Ego, Compassion and Patience. My 3 things I have to endure this year 🙂
And yada yada, it’s not the destination, but the journey 😉