Teaching Ashtanga,  Yoga Philosophy,  Yoga Sutras

Your Yoga Practice Does not Denote Superiority

Feelings of superiority have no place in yoga. As a matter of fact, it is the opposite of yoga. The goal of yoga is to rid you of everything that is blocking you from seeing that you are one with the universe. It is to help you see that, the same energy that animates you, animates every being on this planet.  It is to rid you of non essential thoughts.

Superiority is an illusion. It is made of the stuff that comes and goes. It is pure egoic thought. If you have more knowledge, it does not mean your are superior, it just means you have more knowledge. If your yoga is older, it does not mean that it is superior, it just means that it is older. If you do Third series, it doesn’t mean that you are more superior then someone who does Primary, it just means you can do Third series.

Because you feel that your yoga practice is more “authentic” or more “traditional” does not  mean that it or you is superior. The need to make other forms of yoga seem inferior, should be looked at under the lense of svadyaya or self study. Why do other teachings have to be inferior for yours to look better? The results of any type of yoga ultimately depends on the person who is practicing it. How is the yoga being transferred into their every day life?

Feelings of superiority or being “better than” bring nothing good into this world. They create dichotomy instead of oneness. They create war instead of peace. Superiority brought about the Holocaust and slavery. How is your feelings of being better than or superior bettering the world? 




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Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail shanna@shannasmallyoga.com.