Letting it go, Letting it be – for the sake of a happy me

Ahimsa Living Yoga

My car got towed last Tuesday morning.  My infraction: parking within 6 metres of a sidewalk at an intersecting street.

I had gone to visit my boyfriend in Vancouver on Monday night, and in the morning, I made the decision to do contract work from his place during the day (instead of heading home), and subsequently, left my car ripe for the Buster’s towing picking.

Walking to the bus (and beginning the expensive and somewhat timely journey to get my car back), I found myself thinking thoughts like:

“If only I had left in the morning…”

“I could have so easily parked in a different spot…”

Recognizing the emotion, the frustration, I was feeling, I asked myself, “How can I bring my yoga practice into this experience?  How can I stop engaging with these ‘If only I had…’ questions?”

And, then, the answer hit me like a tonne of bricks:

I stop asking myself these questions because they make me feel like crap. 

There is nothing to gain, nothing to learn, from beating myself up about not having done something differently.  The lesson – park more than 6 metres from the sidewalk – was quickly learned.  Any continued fretting about what happened is futile.

The practice of yoga teaches that we don’t have to engage with thoughts that don’t serve us.   Through a disciplined practice, we find the freedom to let go, the awareness to step away from what is harming – especially harming that is self-imposed.

Stillness, by Robert Goslin

Class Readings Poetry

I came across this piece in Poetry for the Spirit, and I plan to read it at the end of my classes tomorrow.

Tormented friend, why do you still enquire
And thirst to know the sum of things entire?
The more you strive, the less you will succeed;
The mind cannot fulfil the spirit’s need.
Striving too hard begets a troubled mind
And those who strive will always stay confined.
For you are not the body, not the mind
But LIGHT IMMORTAL , mortally enshrined.

So live in bliss – enjoy the simple task;
Seek not to know, and do not dare to ask
Why you are here, or what your fate will be.
Be still and listen to the symphony
Which your surroundings play in unity.
The part cannot exist without the whole;
The whole cannot exist without the part;
And reason has no place in cosmic art.

When stillness reigns, you are the sum of things;
The Nothing and the All that Oneness brings.
When stillness reigns, you are Infinity
And sense the nearness of Divinity.
Just as the pigeon navigates in flight
And homeward speeds before a hint of night;
So too, the soul, will homeward soar one day
Without a mind to guide it on its way.

Finding Comfort in Discomfort

Living Yoga

As a new teacher, I am actively seeking and incredibly excited about opportunities to teach yoga, so when Doris called me last Thursday morning to ask if I would teach Thursday’s and Sunday’s classes at Sol Yoga, I said yes with enthusiasm and excitement.  In the same moment though, I was feeling deep sadness for Doris because she was asking me to teach because her father was not well and she had to fly out immediately to be with him.

Holding these conflicting emotions, I had moments of awkwardness where I wondered if I should feel guilty for being excited about something positive that happened in my life as a result of something negative happening in someone else’s life.  But my yoga practice brought me to the place where I could find comfort in the discomfort of these conflicting emotions.

And, this is one of the many gifts of the yoga practice.  We train ourselves on the mat, through a five-minute pigeon hold or a lengthy sequence of warrior postures, to find comfort and peace in the midst of discomfort.

And, we carry this skill off of the mat and into our lives.  We learn to hold conflicting experiences or feelings with acceptance and recognize that life can be messy and that there is the space to let ourselves and our experiences and our feelings, no matter how contradicting, simply be.