Letting Go- why is it so hard to do?
I don’t know if it was the change in the clocks last week or the weather or a combination of both but energy in class throughout the week was really low. It was a challenge to find a balance in my classes. Between the grounding and balance people needed with a more uplifting flow. So I focused on being kinder to your body and dedication each practice to a personal intention for each student. So often we offer our practice up to someone else who needs it for whatever reason. But last week I asked my students to take that focus and dedication inwards. It was interesting to watch as the week unfolded, particularly with my regular students, how people’s mood and energy shifted to a more positive and open approach to the sequences.
There was also a personal message in this for me. I have been battling a few injuries recently in my shoulder, back and leg. All of which has led me to tune into my body a lot more. I have noticed as one-area releases another seems to tighten and take over in the pain game. So I guess I should be grateful that all three don’t hit level 10 at the same. I am also trying to use this as a learning and an opportunity to bring something a little different into my teaching.
So for this week I thought I’d keep the same idea of taking the focus inwards but with a different theme. This week is all about letting go.
‘You only lose what you cling to’
Looking back at how my body and mind have reacted and responded to my injuries has been interesting. Initially it was the physical pain and tightness that took over my full attention. As time has gone on I have become more and more frustrated in my self. Frustrated that I can’t do as much yoga as I usually do, some days none at all. Frustrated that I can’t advance my practice as I feel I need to and build up on the poses I’m currently working on.
At one point last weekend I noticed I was feeling really disappointed in my self and it was actually getting me down. So I did what I usually do, got upset about it and then decided I needed to do something to change it. I’m doing all the right things medically for my injuries and just need to give it time and be patient. Anyone who knows me will be laughing at this point- Julie B and patience never go in the same sentence together.
Give yourself a break
The frustration and the disappointment was coming from no one else but myself. It got me thinking- what else am I holding onto that is causing me stress/ tension in my body and or my mind. We all hold onto tension in our bodies from day to day stress and taking time to stretch it out and release is great. However, for most of us I believe this goes a lot deeper. Your body is a very clever thing.
Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it
After being attacked 18months ago I had a range of initial physical injuries that healed over time. The emotional trauma tool longer and is still there at times, although getting less and less all the time. I was really shocked by the delayed physical response in my body as a result of the trauma. While I was in Bali last year I had a injury in my hip and leg which I couldn’t pinpoint. No physio could tell me what it was or give me any real relief. I had tried everything with no success so I went to a healer.
The challenge of keeping an open mind
Now for all those skeptics out there- I hear you. I was the exact same. I also admit when I am wrong and I was very wrong to judge this time. The man was unbelievable. I didn’t tell him anything of the trauma I had been through. Within 10mins, without asking any questions and lightly pressing his hands on different energy centres he was able to tell me what had happened. Also what was going on in my body as a result. I am very rarely speechless- but I was absolutely gob smacked. I went to him over the space of a few days. He completely released the blockages and I was pain free. He was adamant that the pain was an emotional response to the attack. This was manifesting in physical pain in my body.
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first & the lesson after
I’m having the exact same pain in my other leg and hip now and again no physio is able to give me a clear diagnosis. Which makes me think that maybe this is my body’s way of telling me to let go! We often associate tight shoulders with stress but stress affects the whole body and manifests in different ways. We all have things we hold onto for longer than we need to, things we overthink and worry about more than we should.
Strive for progress not perfection
Letting go is easier said than done though. This is really highlighted in a yoga class. As a teacher I se people struggle every day with being still and relaxing. It’s funny, most of us race around all day and we long for the opportunity to relax and chill out. But yet when we are given the opportunity to do it we really struggle. I connect with this so well because I was that person for so long. I used to get really frustrated with the teachers in class when they slowed things down and Savasana for me was a time to plan ahead. It took me along time to accept that I was afraid of letting go and being quiet. Afraid of what emotions or thoughts it might allow to surface. It was easier to keep going at a million miles and hour and not give my body or mind the opportunity to slow down and feel what it needed to.
‘Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations’
It won’t happen overnight, in fact it’s never done. It’s an ongoing choice and a journey. Learning to let go of the mind stuff and the tension in your body is an ongoing practice, a daily choice and effort. Sometimes it’s easier than others, sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t – and that’s ok. As I have learnt it’s ok not to be ok all the time.
Julie B xx