Friday, February 27, 2015

Letting Go

Happiness does not depend on who you are
or what you have.  It solely relies on 
what you think.

~ Buddha

I've been practicing yoga on and off
for nearly 15 years: Gentle Yoga, 
Iyengar Yoga, Power Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, 
All-level Yoga, Beginner's Yoga and
other types long forgotten.

The off times happened during busy
years, or when, like a fickle friend,
I turned towards pilates or barre
classes, instead.

But we never broke up completely.

Right now, yoga and I are BFF's.
Even on sub-zero mornings this long
winter, I have stayed true to my
practice, dashing from warm car
interior to yoga studio door despite
the inclination to hibernate : )

The studio is on the top level of an
historic brick building. I love rolling
my yoga mat out on the wooden floors,
the soft swoosh of the ceiling fans
overhead and the whispers of my
classmates the only sound until our
practice begins.

Class always ends with a pose called
Savasana, or Corpse Pose.  After all of
the stretching, bending and twisting,
all the concentration to hold poses and
focus on our breathing, the purpose of
Savasana is to simply let go.

We stretch out on our mats, eyes closed,
hands lying with open palms at our sides.

Let go of your practice, whether you felt
weak or strong, balanced or unbalanced.
It's done, advises our teacher.  
Quiet your mind.

Savasana has taught me to be kinder
to myself. At the end of each day, if I
didn't accomplish all that I'd hoped to,
or had one {or two or three} more pieces
of chocolate than I should have, or was
unhappy with myself for something else,
I let those thoughts fly away.

We've all been taught to be kind to
others. But being gentle with 
ourselves doesn't always come as
easily.  We can be our worst critic 
when we should be our best advocate.
Our strictest boss instead of a 
cherished pal.

There are bad days.  There are good days.
Mostly it's a messy, beautiful mix of both.
When the sun sets, it's time to release the
day like a caged bird that's been set free.

It's done. 

In yoga class, Savasana brings me serenity, 
knowing that it's okay to just be, 
if only for a few minutes.

When you close your eyes tonight, I wish
you the same peace.  Let go of today.
Love yourself like you would an amazing
best friend.  Tomorrow will bring another
day and another chance to continue 
building a life well-lived.

Be gentle with that precious,
extraordinary, one and only 


{The light in me honors the light in you.}


PS: Thank you for the lovely comments and emails
regarding the loss of my dear father-in-law. You
made a sad time a bit brighter for me and I am
grateful from the bottom of my heart.

all photos:  P&H


Palomasea said...

Dearest Suzanne, I missed the post on the loss of your father-in-law, I am so sorry. I'm sending prayers to your family.
I will go back and read that post.
A big hug to you.

Regarding this beautiful message wise you are.
I am finding that the greatest gift one can give (to oneself as well as others) is kindness.
Beautifully, beautifully written.
Namaste and blessings...
~ Irina

June said...

Another beautiful post my dear young friend. I love to read your heart.
I don't do yoga, but meditation helps me center myself with the world around me.
sending hugs your way

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

How lovely, Suzanne. I feel like life is a constant lesson in letting go...and I so love the idea of each new day being another chance to continue to build a life well-lived. I will keep that in my heart. Such a hopeful, thoughtful post...thank you, my friend...xoxo

Rambling Tart said...

This is so beautiful, Suzanne. My doctor would like me to start yoga, believing it will help me with healing from PTSD as well as support my body as it deals with IBS and severe endometriosis. Your descriptions of it sound so nourishing and healing. xo

Jeanie said...

What beautiful photos and how perfect they are to illustrate the peace of simply being. I'm so grateful that you have yoga to help you through these challenging and sad days and that each one is a bit easier for you. You have truly been in my thoughts.

Susan Shull said...

I am so sorry about your loss. Big hug coming to you from Illinois. I love yoga too. Have you ever done Holy Yoga? I just know you would love it!

Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home} said...

So sorry to hear about your father-in-law, Suzanne. I pray for your healing. I wish I could be as centered as you seem to be. Most days I'm lucky if I can just get the job done, you know? I've thought about yoga, but never took the plunge. You make it sound very worth it:)I've always found that exercise lifts the spirits. During winter, especially, it's good to keep moving. Glad you have your yoga.

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

Namaste Suzanne.
I need to go back to yoga, it has been calling me lately. I am glad you have it and Savasana to let go of whatever the day has brought your way!

Leslie said...

Suzanne, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your dear father in law. One is never prepared for the full impact of that and going through the end-of-life experience is exhausting and leaves us feeling fully drained in every way.

This is such a wonderful post. I taught Baron Bapiste power yoga for a couple years and had to stop because of work demands. I was a devoted student for years and seldom go anymore. I think I got so submerged in it and just got burned at. With my busy job I had to narrow my fitness routine down and unfortunately yoga hasn't been the priority. I do a lot of trail walking and find that a place where I can get into my Zen moment:) Good for you for sticking with this. Sounds like you are totally devoted and in that case .. are likely to stick to your practice. ~Namaste xxL

Shelly W. said...

Hello, dear! First, I am so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. I missed that post. :(

Second, I just started taking yoga at the first of the year, and I LOVE IT!!! Not sure I'll ever go back to my "regular" workouts. At first, I noticed that during savasana, I would be overcome by tears. I found that really weird, but now I just realize that it's because I was so relaxed that I truly did let go.

I heard something recently that has helped give me a focus during my practice. The speaker said the breathe in the love of God and to breathe out our praise, so that's what I try to do during yoga practice. When things get tough in the middle, I try to remember to breathe in God's love and to breathe out my praise. Thinking about it this way works for me. :)

Dawn Y. said...

Heartfelt sympathy, Suzanne, for the loss of your father-in-law. I'm very sorry that I missed your post.

Over the years, Yoga has brought so many blessings to my life. Perhaps I will always feel like a beginner in my Hatha yoga classes. Yet I still find such joy in my practice. What a beautiful post today!
Namaste, dear Suzanne. ♡

Lisa Ancona-Roach said...

Your words here resonate with me deeply. I typically do my yoga in the a.m., though the idea of taking some time to "let go" at the end of the day is very appealing. Thanks for this.

Beth said...

Firstly, my sympathy to you and your family Suzanne on your recent loss.
Secondly I love the way you have captured the essence of yoga in this post. It is such a gentle activity yet can be so strong and empowering at the same time.
Namaste friend,

My Grama's Soul said...

Oh Suzanne....I'm so sorry for your loss. I don't stop by often but when I do it is always so inspiring. I've posted today about a little book I just read....I think you might enjoy reading it. Please stop by and take a look.



Deborah said...

What an inspiring post.
Letting freeing isn't it Suzanne?
I'm so glad that you enjoy your special time...I have done yoga before too and I think the only reason I stopped was because it was 20 minutes out of town and I didn't really care to drive it in the winter, but I did so enjoy the gentleness of movement and the quietness.
I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law Suzanne. Sending love, hugs and prayers of comfort your way.

All my heart,
Deborah xoxoxoox

Leslie Harris said...

these are such beautiful, calming words that resonate with my brief experience of yoga. I only discovered hot yoga when we moved down here but found it transformative. Against my better judgment I left it for the gym and some personalized strength building that I felt I needed. But my heart is no longer nourished by the sweat and pace of a gym. I've learned that finally. At least I'm not feeling the stirrings of peace that I began to access in the yoga studio. And god knows at my age I need some peace. :) so I'm heading back again.

Linda said...

What a great post, very informative, thank you for sharing this. I don't do yoga but a friend of mine does Tai Chi and she says it helps her a lot. I do take time to meditate and to think things through, as well as take walks and enjoy the beauty of nature.

The enchanted home said...

I LOVE this message and so enjoyed reading this post Suzanne.You always give me something to think about...and you are so right we are so ingrained with being nice to others but often neglect ourselves. A good friend who is a major yoga fan always tells me how much I would love it. I tried hot yoga once and my clautrophobia got the better of me:) You have me wanting to give yoga another shot! Thank you for sharing this wonderful message......

Brian Cailsey said...
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