Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Letting Go Yoga Style
I have been practicing yoga on a somewhat regular basis, even after teaching class until 7:00 p.m. Good for me, finally! I am so tired after working/teaching/writing/advising/talking/ administrating/ all day that I can easily put off getting into my car, driving to the studio, changing clothes and doing the work that is required of me to be in class. But every time I make the effort I leave class feeling SO much better. (I know this is a luxury and one that would be near impossible if I still had small children at home.) I thought I would share something that we did the other night that really struck me as more than just "yoga" but rather a life lesson. Yoga and the meditation involved provides lots of ah-hah moments anyway but this was particularly profound, at least to me. I hope I can properly explain what we did. Starting from a child's pose or balasana (legs tucked under and pointing behind, head forward onto the floor) we then placed a blanket roll between our abdomen and thighs. The leader told us that it would feel "somewhat" uncomfortable, perhaps even slightly painful. This would occur as our abdominal organs were moved into a different space, forcing a release of toxins. Here is the best part! IF we could simply notice the "uncomfortable-ness" but not resist, it would soon subside and we would begin to relax and feel centered. My body was initially very tense and, as our instructor noted, afraid it would be hurt so it was in "protection mode" and staying on high alert. It was so true and quite amazing that as I relaxed, and noticed but didn't fight against the stress, it felt so good. An ANALOGY for life I think. We resist things that we automatically think will hurt us, we tense our bodies and our minds. We can't quite "let go" and trust. The more deliberately we try to release and relax the harder it is to do so but if we just notice our feelings and sit with it, slowly we begin to let go and the pain is released. We feel easier and more centered. This is very hard to do with life but likely, as with yoga, easier with practice.