I think of this term every time I feel like I am pushing myself too hard or having unrealistic expectations, all mindsets that will put me in a box. Just as in yoga we do in order to be, performing asanas with the intention of bringing ourselves into oneness, being in the present moment, as we truly exist, we do the same in our day to day lives, yet it is our conditioning to be so caught up in the do that we forget about the be. Let’s change that conditioning. We can perform sivasana on the mat, teaching ourselves to completely let go, and it’s beautiful, necessary, our vision becomes clear, our soul shines through. To then be able to take this ‘letting go’ off the mat into our daily lives is a breakthrough, and just one of the many goals of the practice. As quite a productive person my whole life this has been something my grasp has been firm on, and yoga has helped me loosen the grip on; the pressure I put on myself to be constantly ‘doing’. While on the mat I can seem to let go, my tendencies toward ‘burning the candle at both ends’ have taught me to take it back a notch, and just as we can’t ‘do nothing all the time’ we can’t be ‘go go go’ all the time. Just like nourishing our bodies with good foods, we must take care of our ‘chi’, ‘prana’ or ‘life force energy. Think of a car on a roadtrip that is driven for many kilometres all the time, it wears out faster, maybe it overheats or runs out of oil. Seems simple doesn’t it? Now I don’t mean sitting on the couch all day and watching TV necessarily, but releasing the hold of the mind that is telling us we must be ‘going’. All the time. Near the middle is where we thrive. Sure, life’s goings on fluctuate as all things do, but the skill is in bringing ourselves back to centre so that we can continue living and loving with the vibrancy that we deserve. Asking yourself, “Am I honoring myself the time to not just give and put out into the universe, but to allow it to flow through me?” or vice versa, is the first step in bringing ourselves to this sacred balance. A resistance of any sort in nature’s flow when too strong creates imbalance, and where the mind, body and spirit aren’t balance, illness can result. Resistance to a certain situation for example, maybe we don’t like our workplace. We can resist it thinking every day of how we loathe the place, causing ourselves stress which can have many effects in the body, or accept what is and then try to change it. The choice is ours. Listening to our bodies and hearts is where the key to the awareness of this flow lies. As we meditate, practice asanas, mantras, we are tuning into this flow, the one that will guide us through life healthfully, more balanced. So sit back. Listen to your breath. Or the birds outside. Sometimes you just have to lay back, release ambition, and sweetly practice ‘the art of doing nothing’.
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