Last Friday, I had the lucky privilege of taking Octavia Raheem’s gorgeous Yin yoga class and, as usual in one of Octavia’s classes, she said something so beautiful and profound that as I sit here even now (Monday morning) I’m still turning it over in my head. To paraphrase, essentially what she said was that we so often sit on our mats and work to “fix things”, to “explore” and “grow”. I say these words to my classes ALL the time, and that is all good and wonderful… BUT, Octavia rightly pointed out, that rarely do we let go of the need to fix and improve in honor of enjoying and celebrating the moment as it is. I know, right?!
Lately, I have been all about my work on the mat. My practices have felt introspective, deep and quite hard; Friday night in class I was truly struggling to let go into the practice, instead I was gripping with both hands. It didn’t feel great. But then this idea of relinquishing the idea of improving, even just for a moment, settled into my brain overnight, and Saturday, oh my gosh, I had the most enjoyable practice I’ve had in months. It felt fantastic to move and breath without trying to focus on any one thing or make it deeper or more important than simply breathing and sweating on the mat. I saw in an instant how much I had been clinging and forcing my practice to DO something rather than just being with my practice. What a difference.
This morning, as I type this up, I am sitting on the deck staring at Lake Oconee. We are enjoying a very brief few days away so I won’t be in class this Tuesday morning. Maybe you can start on this idea without me though? Get on the mat and let go into a practice that doesn’t have to DO anything. Let go into a practice that allows you to be perfectly ok right now. Then let’s talk in class on Wednesday and Thursday. See ya then, yogis.