Identity

Who are you?

Most of us, when asked this question, can think of several labels we can identify with.

Mother, daughter, yoga teacher, and friend are a few of mine. These labels are helpful because they help us to determine appropriate action depending on the situation. For example, in my role as yoga teacher, it might be appropriate for me to share a challenge from my life as a way to illustrate a yogic concept, but it would not be appropriate for me to complain about that same situation. As a friend, I could probably complain as much as I needed to.

The danger comes when we start to take these roles on as our true identity. When we can no longer separate ourselves from the roles we play. When our ego becomes wrapped up in being a “good mother” or a “successful teacher”.

The way to practice yoga with your identity is first to notice. When we detect an imbalance in our identity, then we can use our practice to move back into a balanced relationship with the roles we play.

One practice that I find helpful is to ask the question I posedat the beginning of this post. Anytime, anywhere, you can ask yourself: “who am I?” Then without answering with a thought, listen and feel the answer. When you drop the roles and the nameable identity, what is left is the truth of who you are. This truth cannot be described in words, but it can be felt. And it feels good.

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