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If you’ve been practicing yoga for a while, you must have heard the phrase “let go” a couple of times.
During my first few classes, I did not truly understand what “letting go” meant. I thought that I just had to fully relax my body, or push every part of me through a complicated pose.
While I never thought of what it meant (at first), I now understand what it means to “let go.” Letting go in yoga (to me) means to let go of the limits we set on ourselves—mentally and physically.
Letting go in yoga means opening ourselves up to the world and living in the moment. Letting go in yoga means feeling our emotions and releasing any worries and doubts. Letting go in yoga means forgetting the past and living in the present.
It sounds overwhelming, and to be honest, it wasn’t an easy thing to do. Letting go, in general, is a challenge, whether it be for relationships, jobs, or material things.
In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Vairagya, or non-attachment, was discussed and considered the most important yoga scripture yet, and the most difficult to achieve. It is the state of being detached from anything in the materialistic world.
With new gadgets being released every month and wanting to get a hold of them, I started to ask myself, “Will this truly make me happy?” My immediate answer would always be “Yes,” but after giving it some thought, I’d realize that the real answer was “No.”
Nothing lasts forever
Even the seasons change. All the things around us are subject to birth and death. Something that I did not understand and accept before I started doing yoga. I thought that it was unfair, and this thought prevented me from moving forward with my own life.
Accepting that change is the only constant thing in the world and releases us from our past. Only by accepting this can we start anew and continue living when change knocks at our door.
Regrets and mistakes happen. They’re what make us human. And I learned that it is okay to make the wrong choices sometimes. It’s part of the learning process that we need to go through in order to grow and become a better person.
We do not have to rush
Letting go is a long process, and it is not something that happens overnight, and it’s okay. Just like how we pursue our goals, we often rush things and forget that the process of achieving our goals is also as significant as achieving them.
Take your time and do it step-by-step, at your own pace. And it is okay for others to do it faster than us because when we arrive isn’t important. What’s important is that we arrive.
Here are three yoga poses to support us in the process of letting go.
Uttana Shishosana (Extended Puppy Pose)
The extended puppy pose opens the chest and releases built-up tension from our necks to our shoulders. It helps calm the mind and promotes a mindful release.
Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)
Pigeon pose is a hip-opening pose that helps release concealed emotions that hinders letting go. Only by facing these emotions will we have the courage to finally let them go.
Matsyasana (Supported Fish Pose)
This is a restorative pose that opens the chest and the heart. By staying at this pose, any blockage that prevents the flow of energy throughout your body will be removed.
All through our lives, we attach ourselves to people, places, material things, and beliefs that weigh us down. We become burdened by the things that we thought mattered, but in reality, they didn’t. Acknowledge these things and let them go.
Only by letting go will we feel true freedom and a higher level of awareness. So, what are we waiting for? It’s time to start the shedding process. It’s time to let go of what no longer serves us.