#yogasutrachallenge Book II Sutra 6 – Ego is when you confuse the ability to see with the soul, which is the actual seer

#yogasutrachallenge Book II Sutra 6 – Ego is when you confuse the ability to see with the soul, which is the actual seer Another unusual definition of a common enough concept. For Patanjali, asmita (the ego) is the aspect of ignorance that arises when you mistakenly think of the body and the mind, our vessels for experiencing and interacting with the physical world, as the actual self, the pure divine consciousness that lives deep within us. We do it all the time; ‘I’m hungry’, ‘I’m fat’, ‘I’m a doctor’, ‘I’m a yoga student’ – according to Patanjali none of these are possible because those conditions aren’t attributable to the true self. They’re just characteristics of the body, or the mind, or some mental concept that is approximately shared among various members of a community. Language perpetuates this. If it didn’t sound really strange to talk about your current incarnation in the third person we might find this relationship less confusing, but if I was to walk around saying ‘Natalie is experiencing sensations associated with excessively low temperatures’ rather than ‘I’m cold’ or even ‘My mind is agitated’ rather than ‘I’m annoyed’ it wouldn’t be a very practical way of communicating with people. The fact Patanjali classes asmita as a mental affliction implies that as soon as you start to think of yourself in this way, to a greater or lesser extent you’re more likely to start acting in ways that will make you less happy and a further from finding freedom of the soul. A nice trick to develop self-awareness is to try to catch yourself throughout the day every time you say or think ‘I am…’ and just observe yourself doing it for a moment. It’s really powerful! #yogasutrachallenge #eastlondonyoga #natalieyoga.com #londonyoga #theritz #memyselfandi

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