In a yoga class I attended earlier this year, the teacher explained that a key concept in yoga is ‘letting go.’ You gain flexibility through letting go of tension. If you’ve ever done yoga, you’ll know that you can move into a pose more easily as you breathe out. There’s a letting go of tension with the breath. You relinquish control. This letting go feels fantastic if we can go with it. It enables our bodies to bend, to flex and to move into postures we didn’t know we could manage.
So let’s explore this idea of letting go. We can get very attached to ideas about situations, about people, about ourselves, or to the idea itself. This can be true even if we don’t particularly like what we’re holding on to. There can be a level of grief around letting go, especially if we’ve held on for a long time. It’s important to acknowledge this and to understand that this is a normal part of change. It can be hard to let go! In yoga our bodies may resist. In life it may be our minds. The thing is, change can’t take place without a letting go. And once we manage this, we need to be prepared to sit empty for a time until the ‘new’ takes shape. If you force the change prematurely, you may end up with something you need to let go of again before long.
You may find too that you need to let go in stages. In yoga, you can often increase a stretch with each out breath. In life, you may need to let go of a little at a time in order to grow and achieve lasting change, to achieve a new form.
This isn’t to detract from how uncomfortable it can be to sit in the void that remains when you let go of something. Yet it’s worth considering that a void isn’t empty. Rather, it’s full of energy (a clever friend of mine suggested this). I think that perhaps rather than worrying about the lack of form, it’s helpful to concentrate on letting go of the need to mould the energy. Try to breathe out without worrying how far you will be able to stretch and just enjoy the process, or at least be comfortable to sit with the discomfort. If it’s not far enough, let go some more on the next breath. You may need to live with ambiguity for a while, but this is where growth takes place and you might just find that you are able to bend and flex into forms you never knew were possible.
So take a deep breath and then I encourage you to breathe out.
Laurenne Di Salvo