“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” – Ann Landers
Photo Courtesy of http://www.freretstreetyoga.com/videos.html
Last week, we talked about the lesson the sage, Vasistha, taught to King Ram about how to let go of the things which do not serve you so that you can focus your time and energy on things that will bring contentment to your life and to the world. I heard back from some of you, and the overwhelming thought that came through was, “Well, how do I do that? How do I let go of things I’ve committed to? People are depending on me!”
OK, OK. I get it. I totally get it because I have the same problem. It’s a little easier to say no to something I’m being asked to do that I haven’t already been doing. But to tell someone I can no longer do something I’ve been doing? That’s a completely different scenario for me, and I’m willing to bet it is for most of you as well.
For me, when I have to tell someone I need to give something up, I feel like I’m admitting I’m weak. When I observe others around me (at work, at church, my friends), it seems like they’re able to do it all, so why can’t I? But I am committed to doing the things I need to do in order to be happy and healthy, so I really appreciated coming across the above quote by Ann Landers today. I love that I always seem to find the words I need right when I need them! It was comforting for me to look at giving things up as sign of strength instead of weakness.
There is a yoga pose that I did for the first time in one of my trainings this past April. My teacher called it “Dying Warrior” or “Wounded Warrior”, but there is no known Sanskrit name for this pose that I can find. It’s a rather awkward pose to get into the first time or two (at least, it was for me), but once I did, wow! I knew it was supposed to be a great release for the hip and IT Band, and depending on the variation you do, it can be a great shoulder stretch and a detoxing twist (here’s the link to a video that shows how to do the twist with the shoulder stretch variation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLJxKHGOu04).
Once I stopped looking around the room at all the others in the pose, and once I stopped trying to force it, I really felt it. Not just the stretching and the other physical sensations. I felt myself letting go. Just giving in to the experience and letting it be whatever it was going to be. How freeing that felt for me! For me, someone who is always trying to stick to a schedule, who freaks out when the unexpected comes my way, it was nice to just sink into the pose and feel it. We stayed in that pose for 5 minutes on each side, and it was so nice to have a solid 10 minutes of my life where I truly felt no worries.
There are a variety of ways, as I mentioned, for you to do this pose. We’ll be covering some variations of it in class this coming week. Get ready. Get ready to let go. Find your freedom!