Friday, April 6, 2012

Letting Go

I alluded in my last post to having begun practicing yoga again.  For me, one of the blessings of going through difficult times is the way I turn to my spiritual practice for relief, and grow.  It was after a particularly trying day that I gently shut the bedroom door, selected a yoga video, and nestled onto the ground, in a comfortable seated position, eyes closed, hands placed gently on my knees, breathing in and out through pursed lips.  

I remember the first time I practiced yoga.  The discomfort.  The ensuing frustration when I allowed the discomfort to overwhelm me and broke a pose.  Two weeks ago when I pulled up a yoga video online, I was pulsating with energy.  Anger, upset, maybe even resignation coursing through my veins.  I felt discomfort this time around, sure, but I breathed through it.  Each time I wanted to break a pose, I focused on my in breath, and my out breath, and on breathing into the discomfort.  And each time I made it through.

Several quotes I've (over)learned throughout my life have been resonating with me during my practice, and have helped me to appreciate the way yoga not only nurtures my mind but my spirit as well.  The way it helps me to cope with Type 1 diabetes just a little bit better.

A few days ago, my practice was winding down, and the instructor was getting into position for a headstand.  Now, I'd never done anything even remotely close to a headstand, and when we would get to this point in a class, I would opt for the gentler modification.  But this time I sat up tall, leaned forward to rest my chest on my knees, then tucked my head into my interlocked fingers.  And slowly, ever so slowly, lifted my feet off the ground.  Higher, ever higher, until my body created a beautiful vertical line.  The question, "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" reverberated through my body.  It was with this mindset, this shrugging off the possibility of falling that allowed me to attain this beautiful posture.

A few days later, I found myself in a Warrior pose.  Those tend to be some of the most uncomfortable poses for me.  My thighs burn, and I feel tight all over.  In an effort to loosen up my body a bit, I concentrated on relaxing my inner thighs.  And experienced the pain of letting go.  The joy of surrender.  The adjustment helped me to appreciate that pain will inevitably enter my life.  And that I can surrender to it or attempt to protect myself against it.  Either way, I will experience it.  But it is in the surrender, the letting go, that there exists true peace.

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