I think it’s safe to say that yoga has a lot to do with letting go. It’s what the instructors are always talking about…”just take a deep breath. Let it go.” And you might not know exactly what this means or how on earth breathing is going achieve it; maybe you just realize that, after hearing it time after time, there has got to be some level of importance to the mantra. The truth of the matter is that when you practice being here in the present moment, you begin to become more aware.
You become more aware of everything around you…and the way those things around you truly affect you, because you are finally getting to know the real you. And that’s when you can begin to love yourself for who you really are. But at least for me, what also comes along with more self-awareness and self-love is a tendency to want to self improve. On days like today, I struggle to know if I should just let go, or if there is some deep-seated reason why I am feeling the way I am and how I should fix it. I spent a large part of this afternoon feeling frustrated. Well, disappointed, really, in a couple of my friends. My thought process went something like: “that’s kind of lame of them. but I’m sure they have good intentions. I know they have good intentions. Katelyn, why is this petty issue bothering you so much? What’s the bigger issue? Do you address it to them? Or are you just reflecting your own negative thoughts on them, just finding someone to blame? But what would I be blaming them for if I don’t really know what’s wrong?! Gah. I know! I’m just emotional because I had a really powerful yoga practice last night….” … 😑
And so what started as one thing totally changes course, because thanks to yoga, you are aware. You know that you are capable of working through these thoughts and feelings, and better yet, capable of placing positive ones in their place. So where’s the line between the letting go and the nit-picking? How can you just let something go if you feel like finding the root of a problem would help make you a better person??
As you become aware of who you are, and perhaps your place in this universe, you are shedding the layers of who you thought you were, or who society made you to be. You might start to realize you’ve stopped giving in and reacting to life situations the way you once did. Because the beauty of self-awareness is that, ahh, finally, you are your own human. You don’t slam your laptop down on your desk because the screen froze and now you have to start your project over. Or maybe you do. If there is one thing yoga probably does not want you to do, is dig up these emotions only to suppress them. What you feel is not wrong. It’s not really right either. It just is what it is and yoga is there to help you work through it. It’s both the instigator of the fight and the counselor that helps resolve it. Fair warning though: you might not always like what you dig out from deep within yourself.
In terms of yoga I like to think of myself as balloon. In the beginning, yoga was the air to help get me off the ground. It filled me up with all kinds of wonderful thoughts. And so I continued growing and learning, making room for more, and I began to welcome in not only the light but also the darkness. And then a time came, as they repeatedly do, that there was just too much air to take in. I was not made to stretch as far as yoga wanted me to, or rather, as far as I wanted me to. And so I popped. That was my breaking point. And I am still finding that every time I break down and reach my all-time lows, the most amazing things can happen if I just keep going. It’s like this beautiful release of everything as you make your way back down to the ground.
So you see, yoga is not just a load of hot air. Everything that comes about is important because it found its way you. Everything that comes about has a purpose to serve you, but the importance is knowing yourself and finding out how much air is enough to keep you afloat. What kind of air is the right kind of air to keep you balanced and fill you up with what you need to soar to your highest potential. It is okay to acknowledge other vices. Today I just could not calm down. I got in my car, cranked up my rock music as I drove around, drank a beer with my lunch and wrote this blog post before I came to realize that, at least for today, deep breaths were not enough. And I don’t judge myself or love myself any less for that. But I can surely focus on the day when deep breaths will be enough. I think what it’s all about is not seeking and trying so hard to find things about yourself to work on, but rather focusing on the things you can work toward. Keeping it all in the positive realm! As you continue to become more self-aware, you realize your limits. You can begin to actualize your divine and genuine self. You find the things that fill you up. The things that make you pop. Maybe that, my friends, is how we find our balance. Maybe balance is that moment when we fall back to the ground and become grounded to the earth. Maybe it’s not about knowing exactly what to let go of..or how..or when.. but simply continuing on your yogic path as you are…focusing rather than seeking, letting go when the time comes, and appreciating every crazy, beautiful side of your self. Yoga may not be your only path, it’s definitely not mine; but there is not an atom of my being that does not believe it is a path you should try or continue on…
you are fabulous no matter what, don’t ever forget it!