Yoga always keeps my ego in check

I felt strong.  As I flowed through the vinyasa I could feel my muscles supporting my body and moving into each new pose with a grace I didn’t quite realize I possessed.  My true goal of whatever particular exercise I do has always been to be strong.  For that brief moment I felt very capable like maybe I could actually do this yoga stuff.  My arms held my body up as I lowered my body to the ground for chaturanga dandasana. I hovered briefly above the ground while I moved my feet from being flexed to supporting my weight on pointed toes.  I had been working on this transition.  I wanted to be able to go into upward dog from chaturanga dandasana without flopping on the ground as I normally did.  My feet moved and I pushed upward with my arms as they shook from the weight of my body.  I reached the point where my arms normally collapse and just decided that somehow I was going to push through it.  My arms wobbled and I pushed.  My arms wobbled some more and I lectured them on not collapsing.  Finally I was in upward dog – I had done it!  My arms fairly hummed as I stretched into the pose.  I paused briefly and then flowed into down dog and paused there catching my breath and feeling proud of myself.

“Come forward to plank.” my yoga teacher called out.  I went forward.

“Now with grace and compassion move into side plank.”  Side plank is hard. There are just no two ways about it.  However, I had done this pose in the past and in my new strong state felt I must be capable of it today.  For the pose, you have to hold yourself up on one arm while balancing on the side of your foot on your side and reaching your other arm up into the air.

“You can do this,” I told myself.  I moved into side plank.  Then all at once my arm started shaking and my sweaty foot started sliding and in the next moment, I went face first onto the floor.

“Are you ok?”  my yoga teacher said with a concerned look on her face.

“I am just fine, just lost my balance.”  I replied.  I pulled myself off the ground and back into side plank, except this time I put my knee down for support.

I often find this in yoga.  I will have a wonderful moment of accomplishing something I couldn’t do before and then collapsing in some way in something else.  My yoga teacher teacher says that part of yoga is letting go of your ego and just honoring where you body is at that particular point in time regardless of what other people are doing or where you think you “should” be.  I am sure some wise yogi was gently laughing at me yesterday.

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