I’ve heard more than a few times yoga instructors say “How you are on your mat reflects how you are off the mat”. Over the course of the past year this statement has really resonated with me and rung true. The emotions I’ve experience in a pose, the way I go about getting into a pose, and how I come out of it reflects upon what I truly feel about myself and how I live my life. Now before you decide to bail on my post allow me to explain.
I’ve always had a love and hate relationship with hip-openers, specifically pigeon pose. Every time I got into this particular pose I would feel very intense emotions that at times translated into irritation and even anger. Overtime I began to really question these feelings that would arise and ask myself where they were coming from. I also began to notice other areas of my body that were tensing up during this pose (aside from my actual hips). As I began to treat these areas with compassion they began to relax and things started to loosen up. Now on to my hips!
Our hips hold on to a lot of tension, stress, and negativity from our daily lives. I noticed that as I simultaneously began to let go of grudges, fears, and other not so happy thoughts, my hips began to soften in my yoga practice. Funny isn’t it? These feelings I felt during pigeon began to lessen and slowly dissolve over time.
Being conscious of my issues off the mat and addressing them really allowed me to finally release this tension. I had to trust myself and come to a place of acceptance in order to feel comfortable enough to surrender to the pose. Only then would I begin to feel a sense of calm, feel my breath come back, and find stillness.
My practice of hip-openers has brought about reflection in my life that has proved to be invaluable.
We all hold on to things from the past that don’t do anything for us but weigh us down and negatively impact how we perceive the present. What is it that you are holding on to that you don’t need?
Try getting into downward dog and notice if there are areas of your body that begin to scream out at you? Is there anywhere in particular that you feel more tension in? Focus your attention there and begin to explore and ask yourself where this is coming from. What are you holding on to in those areas? You may begin to feel things that are uncomfortable to acknowledge but stay with it. Why are you holding on? In order to let go and release, you need to face these things from a place of compassion, love, and patience. When you are finally able to surrender, you will feel a sense of ease, lightness, and inspiration.
Namaste to that!