Wednesday, February 27, 2008


“…it’s hard to see the bigger picture when you think you are the great controller of your life.” (Donna Farhi)

“As I emptied my cup, the world flowed in.”
(Rolf Gates)

I have two quotes for you this month. They have similar thoughts and both are beautiful. In December, I decided to spend this year studying the last of the niyamas, Ishvara Pranidhana or surrender. Like many of us, I have long been the “great controller” of my life with deep-seated fears of letting go and trusting in the process of life. The more I let go, the deeper I go into my heart, to an inspired place from which to live. Both Rolf and Donna are right, I am seeing a bigger picture and the world is beginning to flow in in ever increasing and powerful ways.

I struggled with how to conceptualize “letting go” as we often hear these days. What did that mean? How could I just stop worrying and stressing? I did what I often do when I am unsure, I turned to my mat. Just as our lessons in life show up on the mat, lessons learned on the mat move into our life. Poses create awarenesses and feelings in our body and we can use them to help us do more in our life. I know forward folds are about letting go and being present so my practice has been almost entirely forward folds for two months. I also know child’s pose and Savasana are about surrender so I do them every night before bed. Finally, I knew the exhale aspect of my breath is about letting go so my breathing practice has been focused exhaling as well. In my meditations, I visualize handing over my worries to someone I respect and trust with my problems. Other than my practice, I didn’t “think” about letting go.

As always, what happens on the mat, came into my life. I am letting go. I feel control has much less hold on me. I am much more open to flowing with what comes in and, perhaps more importantly, what goes out of my life.

Think about issues you are struggling with in your life, things you are “thinking” a lot about. How can you take the issue to the mat? You can use poses to build courage, open to love, release grief, soften to the present, and much more. Not sure what to do? Email me. I am happy to help. Yoga is our gift and we can use it for so much more than merely stretching our bodies.


Denise said...

Laura: I loved your post, it also explained further your breath work. I have focused deeply on the exhalation for a long time, but not on the inhalation. When I put my awareness there it told me so much, I breathe better when I am open to receive, and very often I am not! Wow, such insight....I will be looking at this more. Thanks Denise

Nadine Fawell said...

Just what I needed to hear right now, thank you - so personal and honest, Laura!