“Your ego is not your amigo” - @thegabyarmy
If you ever took one of Gaby’s hot power vinyasa classes at Wynwood Yoga Studio in Miami, Florida, you would understand that you need to check your ego at the door to thrive in her class.
Gaby is a fiery Pisces that will push you beyond what you think you are capable of. She’s a no nonsense, tough love, get out of your head and into your heart kind of teacher. At first, she gets a lot of mixed reviews (just check her classpass reviews, which she finds hilarious and posts frequently!) Some people love her immediately, others think she is too intense and, dare I say, “mean”.
The thing is, Gaby isn’t mean. She’s the furthest thing from it. Sure, she can be intense. Life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Yes, she will push and motivate you. Isn’t that what you want from a teacher? But what is actually going on, is that Gaby is calling you out on your own sh*t. She is brave and says things to her students that maybe they’re not ready to hear. More often than not, she will call you out for not paying attention in her class, or “going rogue” for no reason: doing extra push ups, touching your right knee to left elbow when she called out left knee to right elbow, or just generally not listening. And this isn’t mean. She is just calling you out for not being present. And if you are not being present, you’re not doing yoga. And if you’re not doing yoga, then why are you taking a yoga class?
The thing is, what we can give every day changes. Our best today will be at a different level than our best tomorrow. And that’s OK! It’s about giving all you got today. It’s showing up for yourself. Because if you don’t show up for yourself, who else will? And then, how can you show up for others?
Throughout class, when you are drenched in sweat and want to die, she will satiate your inner yogi by throwing down some wisdom bombs on you. One of my favorite #gabygems is: “Your ego is not your amigo.”
I love this phrase and use it frequently in coaching sessions. It encompasses a few things. It identifies you separately from your thoughts, and let’s you know that all of your thoughts are not your friend. Quite to the contrary, we can have this internal self-sabotaging dialogue with ourselves, that is not even based in reality. Because what is real lives in the present moment, and the millions of possibilities that can happen from this moment, based on millions of things that are in motion right now. How egoistical of us to think that we can foresee the future; that we actually know what is going to happen. Yes, there are signs of our present and our past that can predict our future, but that future is ever-changing and unwritten. (cue Natasha Bedingfield).
With all of this happening inside, outside, and around you (and to every living being on earth simultaneously) it is egotistical to think that our thoughts and our predictions are the ones that will come true. It takes practice to be in the present - where true love and peace lives. And that is accessible right now. Peace and love are accessible in the breath, in moments of stillness and in awareness action, and it is manifested when practicing yoga.
Yoga is the highest expression of self-love, and love is the most powerful force in the universe. To practice yoga, you are practicing and demonstrating presence, peace and love. This is what it means that you are connecting on a higher level. This is why we set our intentions for something greater than ourselves. We are so much greater than we give ourselves credit for. We are so much greater than our ego.
Your thoughts are not your friend; your breath is your friend. The present moment is your friend. Your true, divine energy, one that is never born and will never die, is your eternal friend. You are holding within you your own true love, and in essence, you are always your own soulmate. You are literally the mate that is carrying your soul. And when we carry this eternal love, there is no place for the ego to be our amigo.