That is capital E capital G capital O.

There is a yoga studio on the near North side of Chicago called Self Centered Yoga. The first time Chris and I drove past it, I almost made him have a car accident I hollered so loud.  Compare that to the quote on the studio where I practice: "When we do yoga for ourselves, we benefit. When we do yoga for G-d, the world benefits." I constantly struggle with getting the ego out of my practice. Essentially, I strive to be less self-centered in my yoga.

I know they were trying to be cute, but I feel like it affirms some stereotypes people have about flexi-yogis. To help with my own struggles about the role of my ego in my practice, lately I have been dedicating my practice to someone or something. It's hard to focus on your ego if you are practicing for your momma. Would my momma be as hard on me as I sometimes am? Absolutely not; my momma is full of love.

I recently read an article about Dharma Mittra's classical yoga posture chart of 908 asanas. He took his own pictures and often had to retake photos because he could see his ego in the asana. In a yoga class, I will often find my ego comes out the most in challenging postures that I feel steady in. I know it looks cool to be in Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose, top leg extended), so I get focused on how very very cool I look, and forget about the experience I am having in my body. Therefore, the pose never progresses. For this sequence, then, I am including poses that might "look cool," but that I am trying to practice without getting the ego involved. These poses come up surprisingly often in classes I take and I find myself looking around the room at who can do them and who cannot. I'm working on it, though. Every day.


The ego usually rears its head in two ways. The first is negative self talk and the other is excessive pride. When you find yourself getting wrapped up in your ego, try to clear your mind, or, if you have time, come out of the pose. Then, come back into the pose as though you have never come into it before. Notice the sensations in your body and see what feels good for you in this pose. One of the best things I have heard in a yoga class is: "Looking at her forward bend will not make yours any deeper."

  1. Begin with a dedication, or by setting an intention
  2. Spinal rock to standing
  3. Tadasana
  4. Surya Namaskar (no warriors), repeat
  5. Surya Namaskar with Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I Pose), repeat
  6. Surya Namaskar with Virabhadrasana I and II (Warrior I and II Poses), repeat
  7. Vinyasa to Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
  8. Eka Pada Koundinyasana (Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya II)
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8
  10. Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank Pose)
  11. Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose with top leg extended)
  12. Repeat steps 13 and 14
  13. Vinaysa to seated
  14. Hanumanasana (Hanuman's Pose)
  15. Switch through center to other side
  16. Bakasana (Crow Pose)
  17. Parsva Bakasana (Side Crow Pose)
  18. Repeat steps 16 and 17
  19. Jathara Parivartanasana (Twisting the Belly Pose)
  20. Slowly go from one side to the other, moving with breath
  21. Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose), lift and lower legs
  22. Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)
  23. Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana (One Leg Upward Bow Pose), other leg
  24. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose)
  25. Halasana (Plow Pose)
  26. Karnapidasana (Ear Pressure Pose)
  27. Spinal Rock
  28. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

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