Did you dress up for Halloween this year? What did you go as? How did you feel?
A few days ago, I was at a friend’s house for her son’s birthday party. It was Halloween and as ninjas, dinosaurs, superheros, princesses and fairies scuttled around, I noticed how particularly light and happy and energetic everybody seemed.
And that was the vibe throughout the entire Halloween day. Light. Happy. Energetic. People were present and comfortable.
Costumes allow us to let go of this identity we forge for ourselves and think we constantly have to live up to. It’s exhausting, isn’t it? Halloween allows us to say, “Tonight, I want to be funny like a clown. Or fierce and wise like Yoda. Or scary like a zombie.”
When we dress up, who we think we are doesn’t matter anymore. The masks and costumes let us surrender our ego. They dissipate our own expectations of ourselves.
What I think is so awesome is that the same thing happens in yoga. During our busy week of jobs and responsibilities and roles and duties, we’re loaded with stress and pressure of being householders.
But if we make a little time to connect with our physical body and breath, if we journey to our mat and become a warrior, a mountain, a happy baby, a cobra, or downward facing dog, if we breathe and really feel those poses in our bodies, we gain stability and release tension. And gradually we start to feel more grounded and flexible in our day-to-day interactions. We slowly start to let go of who we think we’re supposed to be.
When we’re able to surrender our ego, the real mask that’s obscuring our truest selves, and throw it up to the universe, to God, we can go into the world with more presence and compassion. We can get beyond molding our own identify and embrace love, instead.
The unmasking becomes even more profound than the masking.
Photo via Adobe Stock.