The art of letting go

[In] “Let”

[Out] “Go”

My Thursday yin yoga class has fast become one of the highlights of my week ever since I made the coin-flip decision to give it a go late last year. I love the fact that I come in and learn to stop, and be present. I love that slowly but surely I’ve ceased to need frequent visits to the chiropractor as my body becomes more adept at physically letting go of my aches and pains. But beyond that is the enlightenment I receive from my instructor. She is quiet, and unassuming, but also incredibly brutal and strong. She is humble, practical, knowledgable, and full of conviction. She is also light, and free, and full of good humour. She’s my kind of person.

Often we incorporate mantras into our practice, her favourite being the phrase “let go”, with the “let” being on the inhale, and the “go” being on the exhale. We visualise the breath moving up and down our spines as we sink deeper and deeper into the pose, perhaps hugging a bolster, or leaving a smear of makeup on the mat as my forehead and nose become one with the ground.

[In] “Let”

[Out] “Go”

I love this simple mantra, but for some reason so often the moment I leave that peaceful environment I forget about it, leaving my inner Buddha behind as I step back into the chaos of my day. In a way, I let go of letting go. I tense back up, I see a text message from work, or a missed call from an unknown number and I’m right back in the day. Of course there are also the days where I am “yin drunk” and I float back to the office full of light and peace. Those are usually the days I’m moments from falling into slumber while tied into some pretzel-like pose, the exact pretzel-like pose I needed to extract some kind of tension from my body. Occasionally I’ll even have a quiet little cry in class if something she says resonates deeply with me, or perhaps we’ve done a pose that releases stored emotions (no really, it does happen).

[In] “Let”

[Out] “Go”

I need to adopt this into my every day, when all around me is chaos. When life is mildly uncomfortable I’m able to breathe through it, but there appears to be some fine line that, once crossed, unleashes my irrational fear driven mind. Emotions. I don’t often operate purely on emotion. I focus on the facts, I make plans, I solve problems. I extract myself from the situation. But sometimes there are days where you just can’t take yourself away. It’s usually those moments that affect your deepest core needs. For me this has been my sense of security. It has been totally turned up-side-down and I have been living on the edge of my seat, struggling to breathe, unable to just let go.

[In] “Let”

[Out] “Go”

My psychologist was a bit concerned for me when I discussed the situation, and my inability to relax. I’m one of those people who can fall asleep anywhere, anytime (thanks CFS) but my anxiety was making sleep impossible, and my CFS flare up was causing me immense pain, and my lack of sleep was perpetuating the anxiety and CFS flare up, and I was just going around and around unable to catch my breath and just

[In] “Let”

[Out] “Go”

That’s right, I just need to let it go. It is what it is, there is nothing more to be done for now and yet, somehow, like a dog with a bone I could not. My psychologist ran me through a different technique to what I am used to, useful for those situations we can’t change. The ones we have to live with. Essentially, it is the art of letting go. I need to focus on my goal and let all that chaos pass me like pedestrians on the street. The first day I tried it my husband asked me how I was going… I sent him a GIF of Alex, the main character in A Clockwork Orange, in the brainwashing scene and told him that is what my thoughts felt like. I was trying to let go, but they had me captive.

And then…

[In] “Let”

[Out] “Go”

Something changed. Two days after that statement something was different. I’d finally ranted and raved about the issue, and made a resolution for moving forward through the issue. I was able to once again breath in and “let”, then breathe out and “go”. Today was chaos, absolute chaos. Maybe I didn’t have time to think about the dramas that had held me captive for the past week or so. Whatever the case, I was able to breathe through the day relatively easy. I disappeared to yin, and practiced my mantra purposefully. I brought it back to work as the chaos continued, and I brought it home too.

I am exhausted tonight, burnt out emotionally and mentally from the drama and the chaos, but each time I feel that rising panic I take a deep breath

[In] “Let”

[Out] “Go”

And it helps, it truly does.

I’ve got a lot on in the next couple of weeks, so if you catch me freaking out just whisper (or comment!) these simple words to me. It’s like a factory re-set for your body and brain.

[In] “Let”

[Out] “Go”

Next time you’ve got a moment to yourself, whether you’re feeling out of control or you’re just trying to focus past something, give it a go and visualise the breath moving through your body as you take each breath in, and out.

[In] “Let”

[Out] “Go”


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