Monday, August 30, 2010

Let Go and Breathe

I went to yoga tonight.  I knew it had been too long since I had last gone, but my body really let me know how long it had been.  I felt weak and tight and heavy, not strong and stretched and light.  There was no "flow" in my vinyasa.  I couldn't even handle sitting still and tall; I felt antsy and wanted to curve into my familiar bent posture.  (The cooling system was also broken, so the room was 84 degrees - hot and sweaty!  Not sure how people survive bikram yoga...)  Needless to say, I was frustrated.

With yoga, it's all you and your breath and your body.  I remember when I first discovered yoga several years ago in college.  It amazed me how yoga required such focus that the rest of the world melted away for an hour or so.  (I mean, I would almost fall asleep when we ended class in Savasana, a pose of total relaxation.)  My thoughts of to-do lists that needed to be done and my uncertainties about grades or badly-behaving boys couldn't be in my head while I was trying to hold a pose and remember to breathe.  I had to let it go and breathe.

I try to remember to do that - let go and breathe - when I find myself getting frustrated during yoga or during "real life" too.  Too often, I beat myself up for not being perfect.  To me, failure is not complete and total failure.  Failure is not as extreme as getting an F, being fired, or facing the end of a relationship.  It's simply not getting an A, not being promoted, or not having a perfect relationship.  It's just a tiny "failing", but it can become a disappointment I feel deeply.

The thing is, in yoga, not being perfect still yields benefits.  Tonight, I strengthened my muscles and increased my flexibility.  I massaged my insides and cleared a little space in my cluttered mind.  Even if I wasn't feeling fantastic, I was doing something for my body and mind.  I reminded myself that I'm not perfect and that's okay... as long as I let go and breathe.

J.Crew flip-flops - a lovely bridesmaid gift (thanks, K!)
and a pretty, happy way to travel to yoga or elsewhere


I'd love to hear from you!


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