Ego means ‘I.’ It’s the self, that which feels, acts and thinks. Ego is what we all seek to keep in check, not let it rule our life. You may have been told that a Yoga practice will rid oneself of the ego and you might have had that experience as you practice… Although sometimes when I see a busy class pack up and rush to put their things away, screwing up blankets, I doubt it…!
I’ve always found a meditation practice most helpful to manage my ego, because Yogi; thinking you don’t have an ego, is ego! Argh, it’s a nightmare!
Crossing over from Student to Teacher can be a real challenge for the self. You have a new self, and whether you want it or not, students look to you for answers and guidance. Teachers are there to be a guide, or act as a Guru. ‘Guru’ is a word with many origins, one I like is ‘to raise up, to lift.’ Gurus therefore aren’t the authority on all things, they are however a generous teacher of the things they’ve studied and experienced.
It’s necessary to stay grounded, not identify too strongly with the role of a teacher and not refer to people as ‘my students’ as I hear too many people doing.
Things are going well for me right now, after three years of work, I’ve found people that want to practice with me regularly. I had brunch with a friend recently who’s going on a bit of a journey, he asked me to describe the best and worst day of my job. I described the worst days were when no one turned up to classes, and the best day was recently where a class was so full there was no space for another mat. And students who have bee practicing with me since those early quiet days said how happy they were for me tht class was busy. I cycled home grinning at the community that had been built.
The majority of students practice Yoga because of the teacher. I know that most of these people are choosing me. How do I keep myself in check when the class is full?
The Roman’s had a great practice for this; After a war a general was on parade in triumph through the streets of Rome, everyone was out to celebrate his role in the victory, but there was one person walking behind saying ‘this will all turn to dust.’
A lesson to us all that even in these moments of jubilation, all of this will pass, so keep your feet on the ground.
This will all turn to dust.
These words are comforting in the times when things don't go so well, when attendance in low, this too will turn to dust.
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Photo by Sarah Alice Lee.
Thank you, Rosie Pose x