Surrendering to Support

Living Yoga Themes

‎”Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses, who are only
waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage.
Perhaps everything terrible is, in its deepest sense, something helpless that needs our love.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

With Chris Brandt of Contact Yoga

I’ve been exploring the concept of support in my classes this week.

First, by looking at the structural support of the postures – the foundation or building blocks. And secondly, by exploring that support as a source of ease. In Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit, Donna Farhi presents support as a key movement principle, and she writes:

Whatever part of the body touches the ground becomes the structural base of support. This base dictates what the rest of the body can or cannot do. When support is lacking in the base of a movement, the structures higher up compensate by supporting rather than being supported.

A lack of support leads to a unnecessary increase in effort, whereas a connection with support allows for a giving over of effort (or a receiving of ease). And, for me, the real beauty in this principle of movement lies in its application off the yoga mat.

Giving over to support – whether to ones hands or ones friend – requires a surrendering, a willingness to be vulnerable, and from this vulnerability stems possibility. The possibility of staying present with the ease that this support allows as we navigate through the challenges of life.

Sources of support in our lives can vary from a yoga practice, to a friend, to a pet, to a hobby, to a journal. And, sometimes support doesn’t look like support. It may come in the shape of a challenge or an obstacle that allows us to develop a quality like patience or forgiveness.

I invite you to consider sources of support in your own life, where you might be exerting unnecessary effort, and how you might allow yourself to surrender more fully to the support surrounding you.