The first step to developing a successful yogic life is simply to develop a healthier relationship to the self that you currently think you are.
When students first learn that Yoga states that genuine freedom and peace comes with the transcendence of identification with the ego, they often put a negative spin on the ego, placing the ego in the catagory of ‘bad’ things.
But the ego is not ‘bad’ per se. It just is.
It is just doing its thing: receiving information, digesting it, and spitting new information back out into the endless, spinning, karma driven, creative potential of samsara (Prakriti). This potential can create exquisite dreams and unbearable nightmares. It can produce the very tools that lead to your freedom or mire you further into ignorance.
The biggest places of suffering in your life are often because you have become your own worst enemy (ironically often by demonizing others) and because you simply do not know how to fully work with this incredible creative mechanism we can call the mind/body spectrum. So the last thing you want to do is add to this by deciding any sense of self is wrong or bad!
It should be good enough to know (at least tentatively) that what you are experiencing as yourself right now is simply not the whole story and that further vistas of realization in that department await your discovery.
But before you can take the road trip to see those vistas you need to learn how to drive a car and you need a map you can comprehend. You need to know what supplies that will be required for the journey and what company to keep for the ride. And perhaps of utmost importance—you need to train your mind so you can enjoy your own company.
Once this has been established, a foundation for the spiritual life has been made and you will be ready for a journey beyond to vistas of luminous, egoless grandeur that all await your arrival.
Image Credit: Nordica Photography