Friday, June 27, 2008

The Monster Ego vs. The Low Self Esteem

Since Dear Husband and I have returned from Hawaii, I have really struggled with my ego in yoga classes. I am not generally an egotistical type of all but I realized when we came back that I have been bringing some sort of ego monster with me to yoga class. My first vinyasa class with Sonja kicked my butt all over the place and all I could think was "what is wrong with me, why can't I keep up". At my yoga studio, Sonja is known to be the ass kicker which was a quality that I had previously enjoyed. After my three week honeymoon, not so much. I even struggled in Linda's Hatha Flow class. What was wrong with me?
So, I talked with Laura, the studio owner, about chaning to less intense classes. And low and behold, instead of dragging my low self esteem with me, I have been dragging my monster ego. I found myself comparing myself to others and wanting to be "the best" in the class. After a lot of thought, I realized, I have always done this. Is my downward dog better than hers? How does my warrior II compare to his? Maybe I will be the only one that doesn't get corrected by the teacher? Haha, I don't need a block for that pose but skinny blonde girl does.
What was coming over me? Why is it that I struggle to find the perfect slimming outfit every morning and sometimes get to the point of tears because I hate my body so much but in yoga I am an egotistical jerk? Is that why I like yoga so much, because it creates a level of self esteem that I have never had? Why is it that even with the reminders from the teachers that yoga is no place for the ego that I bring it in full force? And how do I stop this madness?
I have been pondering this subject for a few days now and was determined not to carry my ego into last night's hatha flow class with Laura. Laura is the very opposite of Sonja, she is gentle and slow. We arrive early and I am relived to find the usual suspects there, no one that really drives my ego into either direction. Though, there is this one woman who scrapes my nerves because she "warms up" before class by doing all of these obscene poses. So, anyway, class is about to begin and a tall skinny blonde chick shows up. Great, just what I need. Not only is she tall, skinny and blonbe but I bet she can rock the poses and of course my hamstrings are pulled so I won't be able to show her how good I am. This wasn't going the way I had planned.
As the class progressed, I found myself watching her to see what she could do. She could do it all, I kept thinking about my friend, Sarah, who was behind her and wondering how she felt. I kept thinking that I was so glad that I had chosen my safe corner in the room. And then the kicker happened. Laura told us to move into legs up the wall and then started saying that if we wanted do do shoulder stand then we could but to be advised that there would be no fish pose to follow. My mind was racing, who amoung us was going to do shoulder stand? Not me, of all of the yoga poses in all of the world, shoulder stand is my nemesis. It makes my back hurt because I don't have the core strength to get into it without using momentum instead of strength. Laura has advised that I continue to build core strength until I feel more ready. So, no shoulder stand for me. I gracefully turned my head to see who it was doing the sacred shoulder stand. And you guessed it, it was tall skinny blonde chick. What a show off bitch. Eh...maybe, maybe not but that was the first thing that popped into my mind.
Clearly, my little plan to leave my ego at the door did not work. I guess I need to find the place within my self that allows me to do things without comparing myself to others. Whether it is in yoga class or at the mall buying size 16 pants. I think in my next private lesson with Laura, I'm going to discuss this with her and find out how to make it happen. I know that I have to go somewhere deep inside, I'm just not sure it is a place I have ever been.


Lisa said...

I'm the same way. I always say that I'm not a competitive person, but apparently I am. Can't wait to read your blog and see how you work through this.

Pilarh said...

Dear C,
You are so honest, I'm sure you are en the right path to be a better person. I struggle with my weight for a long time, I'm a physician and 4 years ago I wanted to have a baby, I tried to lose weight (I was very scare about all the risk to have a obese pregnancy), but I couldn't.
Guess what? after my daughter was born I grow more and more concern about been a good role model... we change everything in the house and we star to losing weigh with my husband. One year in half later, we were normal people and I been successfully keeping the pounds of.
I think you need to find a real motivation... many times before I dieted for my mom, money, fashion envy.
Good luck and keep blogging!

Christie @ Honoring Health said...

Hi Pilar, thanks for commenting but I did want to clarify my persepctive for you. I am not interested in dieting, dieting is how I landed in this garbled mess of binges and starvation. I am working to rebuild a healthy relationship with food and regain some self esteem and neither of those will be accomplished by dieting. I do have real motivation...but it isn't to is to live happily and find myself without depending on being thin to do it.



PrixMadonna said...

I hear you!

My ego, meaning that rationalizing, dictating part of my brain that seems to pee everywhere to stake out its territory, has been MY nemesis lately.

It's not concerned with what everyone else is doing, but it certainly thinks everything relates back to ME and IT and is a bummer when I try to meditate!

Out, damn ego! Out, I say!

sed said...

To give another lift to your yoga ego: she had to use momentum to get into the pose. That's right. I saw it. :)

Christie @ Honoring Health said...

I ♥ you, girls!

Mara said...

I think you're doing fantastic!! Just the fact that you've continued with the yoga and everything despite all the other stuff going on is HUGE!!
I heart you!

tfh said...

Very thoughtful post! I have taken the easy way out (ego-wise) and now practice yoga at home only.

Sadly, the ego doesn't seem to diminish with becoming "better" at the physical element of yoga, or becoming thinner, or even blonder...or is it "happily?" Anyway, I'm rooting for you! Your wedding day photo is beautiful. Truly blissful.