Ego, Illusion, and Bright Lights

I love Yoga Bhoga. From the paper lanterns and smooth floor to the air of expansiveness, tranquility and serenity, I feel connected to earth and heaven. Every day people gather in this simple space to tune inward, connect with others, release heavy thoughts, and primarily, heal and strengthen body and mind. Whatever their personal reason for unrolling their mat, somewhere in their practice, there is a profound, inexpressible moment of clarity. I recently realized how connected I am to this sacred space of growth, self-reflection and truth. When I first started taping Prana Yoga Fit, the show was taped in a makeshift living room in the Earth2World network’s studio. I never felt comfortable there; I chalked it up to cameras, nerves, and the strangers around me. My own discomfort was evident and we had to re-tape. Shortly before the third attempt, I asked Scott if I could film at Yoga Bhoga. During the first taping at Yoga Bhoga, I felt my protective and defensive layers begin to melt and dissipate.

Filming a yoga show has brought up a lot of self-doubt. Every person can relate to the self-critic that speaks up right before a group presentation. And even the most advanced yogi gets nervous when entering a yoga studio for the first time. Preparing for Prana Yoga Fit, has been a constant battle between my adventurous spirit, my inner critic and the societal panaoptican that governs me in my mind’s eye. Yet, yoga is the movement from one point to another, the unifying of two things. Isn’t part of the yogic flow of non-attachment to recognize that everything changes and we must learn to flow, to move, to reach to a place we have never been before?

In my classes, I often discuss moving outside one’s comfort zone, allowing expansion, exploration and growth. In this very studio, each time I teach or attend a class, I am forced to go outside my comfort zone. In order to fully give to my students, I must remove binding layers and teach from my bare, authentic self. I am a strong believer that one must know their limitations to transcend them. When we disregard our boundaries, we often push against a brick wall without knowing it. Instead we can slowly edge around and find new paths. Before the second taping of Prana Yoga Fit, I realized that my own ego was limiting me. I was acting from the illusion that this show was about me rather than a gift from the spirit. As in any class I teach or interaction I have, only from a place of truth could I wholeheartedly give to others.

Despite the cameras, the lights, my nerves or the strangers around me, in Yoga Bhoga, I am able to become vulnerable, to allow the world to see my flaws as I work to give viewers a way to create a sacred space in their own home. Maybe one day, we can all leave our room, fearless and open, without any extra layers between us.