Building strength and letting go

With the beginning of the new year, a friend – who I’d been chatting with about resolutions – sent me a link to Yoga with Adriene‘s 31-day revolution along with an excited “I’m doing this!”. I hesitated for a second and then, thinking, “what have I got to lose?” signed up too.I have about 10 resolutions this year, so why not add another?!

I’m pretty happy to say that I’ve made it to day 17 and only missed one day of practice (for a massage…yes. a massage!!) It’s been surprisingly easy to make it back to my mat every day. But I won’t lie. Some days are easier than others. And not just the “getting there” part.

Is that just a yoga thing?  or maybe just a human thing… 😉

"posing" for the camera on my matI have been practising yoga regularly for a few years now. It didn’t appeal to me before that. But when I was invited to join this group of people (from interesting and diverse walks of life) that meet on a weekly basis in the teacher’s home studio; yoga, for the first time, drew me in. And it continues to.

Sometimes it’s to relax (and learn to be present), sometimes I work so hard that I feel it in my muscles 2 days later. Physically and mentally I test my limits, reach a little deeper, a little further. Sometimes I feel like a yoga star. Sometimes nothing seems to  want to hold or line up properly, and I feel frustrated and want to give up. And sometimes I’m just happy to get to the sharing, tea, cookies and community post-practice (yes… tea and cookies! yes… I know!).

Yesterday, at our weekly class (during which I struggled and huffed and puffed through different poses, frustrated with my alignment and/or lack of flexibility) our teacher read a beautiful text and this line struck me – enough that I wanted to share it. It’s an except from a blog post by Carrie Owerko (Now – more than ever).

“We create a space in which we can loosen our grip a bit, and learn not to hold on so tightly or cling so fervently to who we think we are”

It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

So – as I’ve heard shared in many different ways, at different times over the last few years –  yoga is about holding, engaging, strengthening and aligning… but this work… this effort…  is always balanced (or should be balanced) by reaching, expanding, letting go… breathing deeply and freely.

And maybe that’s why I keep going back to my mat. To build the strength to let go.

Balance.

 

 

 

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