Midway through most yoga classes, a thought crosses my mind. Is my yoga teacher trying to KILL me?!
Of course she's not trying to kill me.
What she IS doing though, is helping me clear some mental clutter through an intense yoga practice in a heated room at a studio I love — Epic Yoga.
Epic teaches "Power Vinyasa Yoga” which links your breath with a series of yoga poses over the duration of an hour or 90 minutes.
As you move through the poses, your breath guides your body and your mind. Your breath also helps heat your body from the inside out, which ignites your metabolism. (Bonus points!) Each pose challenges, stretches, and strengthens, but also allows your body to release toxins. (This is great for those of us under a lot of stress.)
Each time you practice, your body will likely feel different. Sometimes flexible and supple — other times, not so much.
So, today, while I was internally swearing at my very "Zen" yoga teacher — wishing I was ANYWHERE but in that one stupid pose, I decided to surrender. I just stop trying to force the pose and just let go of my “monkey brain” thoughts and, well, I just let go.
Yes — I let go of control and simply surrendered to the moment.
As soon as I stopped fighting the pose ... boom. I fell right into it.
My point is, every time I make "surrender" my intention, something magical happens. I find new levels of strength, peace and inspiration.
When you start doing yoga, you may hear your teachers say: "how you are on your mat, is how you are in life."
What they mean, is that your mat is parallel to your life. When a pose is challenging or when you’re fatigued, what do you do?
Do you run? Do you distract yourself by chasing fleeting thoughts? OR do you stay and breathe through it knowing there’s a breakthrough around the corner?
Do you force yourself into a pose even though you know you shouldn't? Do you talk down to yourself? (“I’ll never be able to get this ... I’m just not going to ever get this right.”)
If you do these things ON your mat, chances are you're doing them OFF your mat as well. From impatience and frustration with a pose, to a lack of grace and self-love while being asked to simply "be still” — it all translates to how we go about our daily lives.
The takeaway for anyone — if you practice yoga or not, is instead of trying to force something, just loosen your grip on it a little. Maybe even let it go completely... let life breathe ... stop trying to control it. Don't overthink things — just "be."
By making life a dance instead of a wrestling match, maybe, just maybe—you’ll find a new level of beauty, peace and freedom.
May light and love cover you as you let yourself "be."
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