Yoga has woken me up to greater awareness of my default tendencies. By that I mean the habits, patterns, etc. I revert to, especially when things get a little messy.
One of my patterns involves wanting to give up and run away when life feels uncomfortable. This can be as simple as all of the times, stuck in traffic, I have decided, game over, I’m moving to Hawaii to live the simple, island-life, sans car.
Today, there is a situation in my life I’ve been feeling down about, and wanting to give up on. I told a couple of my awesome yogi friends about it, and they gave me a great reminder. They said it’s just like the practice – you just have to keep putting yourself out there, despite how uncomfortable it feels.
Comparing this other situation to yoga helped me a lot. So much benefit comes from just showing up on my mat, every day, no matter what. It’s a continual process of showing up, letting go, and allowing the practice to work it’s magic. Trusting that the uncomfortable feelings that show up will pass. And they always do.
I think a lot of us come to yoga class initially because we want to feel good. We crave relief for the everyday tension in our bodies. Then when it doesn’t feel good, we shy away or hold back. Something I’m realizing is that it’s not supposed to feel good all the time. Rather, in my body, the practice takes on a full range of physical sensation. I can either spend a lot of time in my head, thinking about those feelings and what they mean, or I can simply meet them with a deep breath, and let go of the idea that what is happening is good or bad. It just is.
Lately on my mat, I’ve been noticing my head. Sometimes my head feels pretty darn heavy, so I’ve been paying attention to the chain reaction of sensation that occurs when I let my head drop. I first noticed this in half pigeon. I tried something new, putting a block under my forehead. Sinking the weight of my head down into a solid surface, I felt some of the tension in my shoulders immediately melt away. That simple moment of awareness has continued to grow, and now I’m becoming aware of where else in the practice I can let go of the heaviness of my head.
I want to put this out there. Dropping out of my head, I’m ready to quit playing it safe. Just like in yoga class – all I need to do is show up as myself, throw my mat down, and move through. Face whatever arises with a deep breath. Trust that I am right where I need to be.