Were you one of many ringing out 2016 by saying “good riddance?”
This past year was plagued with unexplainable violence, racism, and tragedy; and to top it off, no matter my opinion on his politics we’ve somehow elected a president who is the last person on earth I want my two boys emulating- in real life or on social media.
But we gotta flip that script, right?
Yoga teaches us so many valuable lessons about how to live in this world and not be affected by it. “Ride the wave, live like a lotus” we’re told- hell I tell you to do it, but at a certain point it’s hard to not let it all weigh you down; and that was my biggest take-away from 2016- how to get back up when it does instead of giving up.
I’m hoping you can connect this lesson to some area of your life, because it’s completely relative to most of the problems we struggle with. Whether you’re scared of losing your healthcare, are fighting to keep you job, or just trying to keep it together on a daily basis because you’re so completely overwhelmed with everything you need to get done- keeping this in mind will help you get through all of it.
This year I went a few rounds fighting it out with fear, worry, and expectation, but luckily no knockout occurred because I learned a thing or two about never giving up- unless it’s control, that we need to let go of, or as Snoop says, “Drop it like it’s hot.”
To let go of attachment to the way things used to be, to let go of control over every aspect of your life, and to let go of the thought that change can’t bring even better opportunities into your life.
When 2016 started out I was still recovering from hip surgery and trying to figure out how I was going to get back to my yoga practice and to teaching how I used to teach. That was mistake numero uno- having any expectation that I could teach how I used to or that my body was going to work like it did before immediately set me up for being discouraged.
I was the teacher who could do ALL the poses. The arm balances, the inversions and the deepest hip openers out there- that’s why people came to my classes, to learn the most advanced poses of the practice- or so I thought. But 20 years of doing those extreme poses left me with two torn hips and nothing but pain every time I turned my knee out 20 degrees or tried to balance on one leg.
You see that pose right there in the picture- I’m convinced it’s the one that tore me in two….
I worried that people wouldn’t want to take my class anymore, that people would think I was a sh*tty teacher because I injured myself, and honestly- that I was just getting too old and the weight I gained after my surgery made me look like an out of shape yoga teacher. Because clearly nobody would want to come to my class because I gained 15 pounds, right?
The first time I got back on my own mat and tried to do my “regular” practice I found myself crying in child’s pose after 10 minutes of not being able to do anything I used to without pain or fear that I was going to rip myself in two again. My first inclination was that if I couldn’t practice how I used to then I didn’t want to practice at all. I thought I’d just quit and find something else to do with my life.
Brilliant idea, right? Let’s just throw away 20 years of studying and teaching because you can’t put your foot behind your head.
No, not so brilliant.
After months of forcing myself back on my mat, doing whatever I could still do that felt good, and countless hours of meditating on letting go of my old body and accepting my current situation, I was able to go to another teacher’s class and not feel “less than” because of my limitations. I was able to teach from my heart and demonstrate the poses I was still comfortable doing and use my years of teaching to verbally walk them through the more advanced poses with another student demonstrating.
And you know what- my students came back to class, my privates welcomed me back into their homes and I quit wanting things to be how they were and started accepting how they are now. I realized that nothing in the grand scheme of my life needed to change- nothing that really mattered, anyway.
Yes I’ve had to buy bigger jeans, and take photos of me in poses that aren’t as “exciting,” but seriously, I know now that if those are my biggest problems in life right now then I am one lucky girl.
So I ask you this- what are you holding onto that is actually just holding you back?
An idea of who your soulmate is, what your perfect job looks like, what size jeans you’re supposed to be wearing in order to go get that dream date and job?
I say screw it… Let Go.
It’s the only way to move forward and live the life you really see for yourself-so instead of constantly putting your happiness on hold because of how you think things are supposed to be just start enjoying each moment how it is.
It will change your life- I promise!
When we attach our minds to how something “should” be, it takes away from our reality in the present even if it’s still a pretty good situation. In reality there are probably thousands of people in the world who would trade places with you right now, no matter what you’re struggling with, because just like there is always going to be someone richer, smarter or prettier, there will always be someone with a bigger obstacle.
You heard it hear first- I’m ditching any attachment to how I’m “supposed” to teach, how my body is supposed to move, and how it’s supposed to look in order to be a “good” yoga teacher.
Wanna join me?
What do you need to let go of in order to feel more joy not just in this moment or this year but for the rest of your life?
I want to hear all about it, so hop on to my FB page and let me know.