Just as the trees release their leaves, so can we harness the energy of this Fall season to release what needs to be let go.
This morning, during my yoga practice I focused on releasing the expectations I knew were hindering my progress and my ability to be fully invested in my morning practice. I have had a mostly daily yoga practice for about 5 years now, I've had some stints where I went months without getting on the mat, but, I always find my way back. One of the things that keeps me coming back to it is the concept of releasing. During this practice in particular, I worked to release the expectations that after 5 years of mostly regular yoga "shouldn't" I be able to get into Wild Thing? Instead of forcing the pose or beating myself up because my foot was not coming down behind me, I chose to focus on the breath and release all expectations. As the judgement fell away, my breathing deepened and I was in tune with my body. No, this wasn't a magical moment where suddenly I could get into the pose, it was a magical common life moment where my leg was still in the air but I was calm and focused.
The video shared below is the practice I did this morning. Adriene has so many free videos on YouTube, you can also join her membership Find What Feels Good for exclusive content. I'm not an affiliate or anything, I just love Adriene's approach and am happy to be a paying member so she can keep the free content coming too.
Yoga has helped me release all kinds of things.
A moment fully seared in my mind is the first time I stood in Star Pose for more than 2 seconds. I have always had a "big personality" but I've also spent a good portion in my life in a fat body. Our U.S. culture (and others around the world) teaches us, especially girls at a young age, that fat bodies are shameful, and though they cannot help but take up more space, those of us inhabiting those bodies are not permitted to actually take up space. So, many of us, I know I did, learn how to become small. How to hide in plain sight. The first few times Adriene did Star Pose in a practice I was doing I skipped it completely. It's not a particularly hard pose, you stand with your legs wide and your hands wide in the air, making yourself into the shape of a star. I didn't skip it because I couldn't physically do it, I skipped it because I couldn't emotionally do it. I did not like how that made me feel, so, I meditated on it. I sat with those feelings. I decided that next time Star Pose came up in a practice, I was going to do it. And I did, just long enough to get my hands in the air and immediately pull them down. It felt too raw, too jarring. I kept trying. Then, one day months later, I stood in Star Pose until my arms were sore. I stood there sobbing, soaking my mat from 5 feet up. When I finally pulled my arms down I immediately hugged myself. I could not remember the last time I felt so free and proud.
Since then, I have continued to work at taking up space. I'm not always successful, but I keep going. I remember myself in Star Pose that day and all that I gained in that moment by releasing the world's expectation that I stay small.
In upcoming blogs I'll share meditations and or journaling prompts to help you find release where you need it most. I'd love to hear what you're working on letting go of or a time when you let go of something big, tell me in the comments below.