Self-Discovery Challenge Day 4: Asmita (False Identity)

January 4, 2014    BY Amy Pearce-Hayden

It’s the half-way point! I hope that this work is beginning to reveal to you a more aware, ready, and informed part of yourself! The journey of self-discovery can be arduous but certainly rewarding.

Today we take a look at the obstacle that students report to me as the most difficult to catch, yet the most powerful in terms of transformation—asmita, or false sense of identity. What exactly is a false sense of identity? I see it as the little (or maybe the hidden, yet big) voice inside of us that condemns, judges, or criticizes so quickly our feelings or experiences. The question at hand is: “Can we reconsider our position on the way we see ourselves?” Can we see ourselves with compassion or is it from the bullying stance of the judgmental ego? Traditionally, we view asmita as a skewed perspective of our ego. It causes us to live our lives always trying to paint and uphold a “perfect” picture of ourselves—who we think we ought to be—thus creating stress.

The trigger that we will be seeking out today will be “self-judgment.” Each time you catch yourself experiencing this trigger—negative self-judgment—use your bracelet to bring your awareness to this habit.

As an additional practice you might find my Witness Contemplation Practice helpful in learning to become a witness to your habitual thinking.

If you’ve been journaling or making notes in your phone as an additional tool, consider making a bullet-point list of the language or tone you hear from yourself today. It might look like:

  •  I’ll never be able to do that
  •  I’m not capable 
  •  I could never 
  • It’s too difficult for me
  •  I’m not worthy of that

May your “old” view of yourself begin to slowly break down as the “real” you and your potential are awakened!


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Amy Pearce-Hayden
Amy’s formal study of yoga began in 1995 with Iyengar Master, Gabriel Halpern, although she was self-taught since the age of 11. While working toward her BFA at DePaul University’s Conservatory Professional Theatre School, (Chicago), Yoga was included in their curriculum. In mid 2003, Amy founded TheYogaScape in Carmel, NY where she continues to direct both 200 & 500 hour Yoga Alliance recognized teacher training programs. In both 2010 and 2011, TheYogaScape was named “Best Yoga Studio”... Read more>>


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