“The Ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear.” -Deepak Chopra
Almost all the crises we have come from joining an aspect of the ego that no longer functions as the person we think we are.
I'll explain it better with an example; imagine that you lose a job that made you feel like a very important person, your niece leaves you, you retire, you get sick with depression or there are some very big changes in your life. The stronger you identify with the ideas of who you think you are, the more likely you are to fall into a crisis. The deeper that identification is, the harder it is to get out of that state.
If you want to achieve a state of happiness, you have to see beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to give up the need for control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things that the ego does all the time. Control, Approval, Judgement. It is very important to be aware of them every time they arise.
It is very easy to fall into the trap of enjoying a yoga class, turning it into physical Yoga only to feed the ego.
In the philosophy of yoga, the ego is considered an obstacle as long as it is in charge of our thoughts, instead of being used for the service of the soul and the Divine. An important thing to know is that "the EGO is not combated, the EGO is exposed", and that the best place to see it reflected is in the YOGA MAT. In our case...the PADDLE BOARD!
Become aware that the Ego is going to be there during the practice, whispering to you..."How well I do it, I’m the best in the class!", or "oh, no, look at me, I’m so clumsy!", or "you'll never be able to do these postures, what am i doing here?” and so on. Try to take distance from this voice, separate yourself from it, listen to it... without getting hooked.
Surrender is the key, it does not mean abandoning. It is simply not to fight against the voice of the EGO. It is to accept that if you can not make a perfect posture, that you will eventually fall in the water doing paddle surf yoga. Stay focused on breathing and let the inspiration do its job. Flow and do not force yourself beyond what your body can do, or abandon by listening to the Ego say that you can not. It's letting go. It is to open space between the stimulus and the reaction with each breath.
Another way to reduce the ego through our physical practice is to cut back on desires, practice with zero expectations. The ego feeds on desires, so this tactic helps diminish its domination of our experience.
As yogis, we are destined to change the identification of the separated self to the expression of the individualized soul of the Spirit, using the instruments of the body and the mind to communicate and interact with others.
While practicing SUP Yoga always remember: «DO NOT COMBAT YOUR EGO, EXPOSE IT, HAVE FUN FALLING IN THE WATER», if you catch it, take some distance from it. It will become smoke, that disappears.
Ok, once we acknowledge the importance of the ego and our mind in yoga… Let’s take a beautiful selfie practising SUP yoga! It looks amazing on Instagram, we all know it, and no matter how much we work on our Ego we will always be seducing creatures.