For many reading this, including myself, the most practiced yoga in the West is Ego Yoga. If I may take a partisan stance on all yogas, from my experience it is by far the most difficult. Before I begin let's define yoga, it simply means "Union." The list of Yoga's are infinite so there is no need to list them. Yoga is much more vast than handstands and body contortion, although that is the most highly publicized.
You and I, we chose Ego yoga, no one hypnotized, tricked or forced us to go down this path, we did it, it was our own karma. Karma is highly misused, it simply means "action."
What is the Ego?
Ego is simply Your Character Structure, who you THINK you are. Your likes, your dislikes, your story, your past, your friends, your family, your job, your strengths, your weaknesses, your misfortunes, and the list is infinite. Almost everyone here in the West only views this world that they feel they came into, without their approval, as this detached limited character with little to no support.
I, a stranger and afraid
In a world I never made.
This character, (Insert Your Name Here), is merely a thought. Think about that statement this week, the image of yourself, as to who you think you are is merely a thought, albeit a constant thought you decide to keep in your head nearly every moment. Imagine this character, your name and life story, as a suit in your closet. Each night when we fall into the dream state while sleeping we forget all about this character we have made ourselves to be, and when we rise we walk to our closet and put on this suit of my likes, my fears, my righteousness, my problems every single morning. We have cut ourselves off from the world we were born out of, that we belong to, we did not come into it. That is why we have some of the most difficult feelings and emotions available as we progress along this path of Ego Yoga, we have completely removed ourselves and have lost touch with our support, our home, where we belong, we are fighting and competing against ourselves every single day and the fight gets very tiring, our arms, our entire body and our mind become weary and almost depleted.
During Ego Yoga we progressively cut ourselves off from the seemingly "outside world" and we begin to feel alienated. We can not escape this alienated present moment, the eternal present where we never feel we belong, I can't catch a break, everyone is against me, I work too hard to be in this position, the infinite self-righteous internal chatter. This disconnected "now" that you find yourself in, is the true birth place for responsibility. Oddly enough this shows you are making progress, although I had moments along my path where all enthusiasm for life had almost run completely dry.
I've felt and experienced the humbling path of ego yoga, I see my own immediate family along their paths of ego yoga, I see my friends and many of my clients, this is the most highly practiced path here in the West and it all leads to the same place, union with everything, that you are deeply part of, whether you want to be or not ;) Be patient and conscious, observe, let life live through you rather than always trying to go out and live life, as you become more sensitive you will realize you are fully supported and you are growing each and every moment. Life, your immediate experience, is energy. Energy is vibration, in another term, contrast. Everything is wiggling, sometimes the wiggle doesn't feel as you'd like it to, but that feeling comes from the egoic self-righteous stance of how you feel life should cater and suit your character's needs. Life can't be controlled, but our Ego Yoga path will teach us that directly. You are in class, and we should find grace in the curriculum.
If you have any questions or would like to work with me, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I hope you all have a wonderful week.