This is another in a series of first-person articles by Comox Valley Record staffer Leslie Eaton, who has embarked on a yoga quest.
I woke up this morning with the realization that although my muscles were tired and sore and that I am physically tired, that there is a grace to letting go and realizing there is a difference between giving up and letting go.
Giving up is quitting. Letting go is relieving.
The style of yoga I am now challenging myself with is intense and difficult and my determination is there but my mind has been saying, “You can’t do that yet, you aren’t in good enough shape.” I need to let that go.
When criticism comes in about the style of yoga I am practising, how it doesn’t work for other people and about how this column could be better utilized for other peoples’ interests is something that I need to let go.
A while ago, I was very overweight and I hurt my back. A good friend of mine told me that when his back hurt he would lie on the hard, cool floor for relief.
I tried and found that the simple act was agony. It was my turning point where I let go of, “I need to start something, but I am so out of shape.”
At that point, I went to my first yoga class embarrassed at my tight clothing, my inflexibility and lack of strength and let that go. I would always be the first to say that I would NEVER wear a bikini in public; I have bulges and rolls and imperfections in all kinds of areas.
Now, I show up to class in the small, light clothing for the kind of yoga I am practising. I am letting go of my negative body image now so that I can be stronger.
There are times when we have to let go and trust others to guide us, times when we have to allow people to help us, times we have to just allow the floor to support us as we rest and times when we have to trust ourselves to be strong and capable.
It can be easy to silently tell ourselves or someone else, “Nope!” in your head, negating any effort that we would put in before we even attempt it.
Letting go of the control in our lives, even if it is for just 90 minutes at a time, is an emancipating and beautiful thing. It takes trust in others, in yourself and in life.
Last night I completed an entire 90-minute class without opting out of any positions to rest; a huge milestone to me. I had to trust myself that I could do it and in doing so, my confidence is starting to soar.
At this point, the only thing I am giving up are my pre-conceived notions of what I can’t do, and say, “Let’s go!”