The art of letting go

20 Sep , 2018

yoga meditation letting go

Letting go can be difficult for many people. However, you do not have to do every asana perfectly, you do not have to be the best at everything. You do not have to overload your weekend with all the tasks you did not have time for during the week. And yet a lot of us do this all the time. We constantly strive for perfection. Unattainable perfection, however, turns into frustration and frustration into permanent fatigue.

Letting go is slowly learning to give up what is not important to you anymore. You remove tasks that you do not need to do or that do not make you happy from your "to do" list to make room for what you really want. You learn to accept what you have. But is the art of letting go still a challenge for you?

No pain, no gain?

In the fitness world of motivational slogans, which try to persuade you to be a "better version of yourself", there is no place for letting go. It tries to scare you that you will not achieve anything without pain, that you should immediately get up from the couch and do a hard workout. What does it mean to "be a better version of yourself" anyway? Does it mean that you are not good enough?

In everyday life, many people also rarely allow themselves to take a moment's rest from various duties. A lot of tasks and challenges await for everyone - at home, school or at work - and people still have to meet expectations and adapt to the rhythm of the work imposed on them, which is often not in line with their current capabilities.

When you return home after a busy day, you also have a full set of tasks to do: a pile of dishes to wash up, make dinner or walk the dog. For the most part, these are tasks that cannot be postponed ‘for tomorrow’, so from the whirlwind of one set of responsibilities, you immediately fall into the next ones. At home, as in fitness, you can still feel that the laundry is not as snow-white as in the advertisements. After a whole day of chores, anyone can feel tired and often frustrated that they have not even done half of what they planned to do or did not do things as perfectly as expected. So, then, how can you find the time and strength for yoga?


The art of resting.

Concentrating on tasks and perfectionism more and more often encroaches into people ’s rest and free time. Often instead of enjoying their holidays and relaxing, people want to visit as many places as possible in the shortest possible time and complete the list of all possible attractions to see - because only then will they feel that they have made good use of their time. Of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting to visit as many museums or galleries as possible, if it is in agreement with your needs and actually allows you to relax and rest. What is a problem, however,  is if you dream of lying on the hot sand with a cool mojito and a book in hand, but instead spend all of your relaxation time visiting all of the museums that really do not interest you, because ‘it's a shame to be here and not to visit’. If you spend your free time on activities that are not in line with your interests, then you will not be able to avoid additional frustration and fatigue.

Allow yourself to rest in a way that suits you. If you prefer to spend the whole weekend knitting a new sweater instead of two days of partying in a different city with your friends, stay home and knit. Free time is the time for you. If you do not find rest, regeneration or relaxation, it means that you have not planned it according to your needs. The negative effects of a lack of adequate rest can include: chronic fatigue, stress and even reduced immunity. Take care of yourself in a way that only you know is best for you!

Yoga as the art of regeneration.

Yoga teaches how to slacken up, how to recognize your limits and, above all, how to accept things for what they are.

Thanks to yoga you can develop at your own pace and on your own terms. Yoga instructs not to compare yourself with others and deepens the understanding that every day you are the best possible version of yourself. It helps you to respect your limitations and to listen to the signals from your body. Achieving a greater body awareness improves the contact with your body and teaches you to rest without feeling guilty. You learn to understand your body’s needs, giving you clues for when to let go. This does not mean that you stop developing. On the contrary - you gently and gradually expand your limits, but only to the extent of what your body allows at a given moment. You do it gradually, with respect and trust, and thanks to this you gain not only physical but also mental strength.

The experience you gain on the mat can also be used in everyday life. You can learn to stop constantly comparing and evaluating yourself and others. You can allow yourself to make mistakes and you will be able to take responsibility for them. With yoga, we accept what we have and what we can do, and with a regular practice of Yoga, you can also learn. to make decisions and act in harmony with yourself and with respect for others. The correct breathing patterns you learn in class help you restore peace in everyday stressful situations. It is also easier for you to be in touch with yourself in difficult situations and react to them.

3 Restorative yoga poses.

If you feel exhausted with everyday tasks or too stressed in general, or if you are looking for some relief for aching muscles or perhaps simply need to restore your energy after a sleepless night or an illness, these poses are a great way to relax.

If you have noticed a drop in your energy levels recently and you do not know why it is quite possible that your body is overloaded. The possible reasons for this condition may be having done a too intense exercise session, exhausting work, or maybe long-term stress - factors that you are constantly exposed to and/or you do not have time to recover from. This condition may even lead to chronic fatigue syndrome. If you are looking for a rest, and do not want to give up completely on physical activity, regenerative yoga asanas come to your rescue. Here's what you can expect, after practicing the following 3 asanas:

  • Reduction of muscle tension
  • Reduction of general fatigue
  • Strengthening of the immune system
  • Getting some more energy
  • Reducing the effects of stress (lowering blood pressure, regulation of the endocrine system, calming the mind)
  • Relief of emotions

3 pleasant, restorative asanas:

  1. Balasana - Child Pose
  2. Supta Baddha Konasana - Reclined Bound Angle Pose
  3. Savasana- Corpse Pose

The only thing you need for these poses is two or more rolled up blankets. If the blankets do not provide enough support, use soft and comfortable household items available to you, such as pillows or a folded quilt. If you want you can use professional yoga accessories such as blocks and a yoga mat.

Do every asana for 3-5 minutes or even longer. Of course, calm and quiet surroundings or gentle relaxation music will also be helpful.

Give yourself time for a pleasant rest that will help you get back into shape.


Balasana

Instructions:

  1. From Table pose, exhale and lower the hips to the heels and forehead to the floor. Have your knees together or if more comfortable, spread your knees slightly apart.
  2. Your arms can be overhead with the palms on the floor, your palms or fists can be stacked under your forehead, or your arms can be alongside your body with the palms up.
  3. Breathe slowly and deeply, actively pressing your belly against your thighs on the inhale.
  4. To release: place your palms under your shoulders and slowly inhale up to a seated position.

Supta Baddha Konasana

In Supta Baddha Konasana, support your knees on the cushions not to excessively stretch the inner parts of the thighs.

Instructions:

  1. Begin seated, bend your knees and draw your heels in toward your pelvis. Press the soles of your feet together and let your knees drop open to both sides.
  2. Lean backward and bring your elbows to the floor. Then, lower your back all the way to the floor.
  3. Gently shift your buttocks from side to side, adjusting your position so that your spine lengthens along the floor while maintaining the natural curve of the lower back. Relax your buttocks.
  4. Draw your shoulder blades gently inwards and let your arms relax with your palms facing up.
  5. Close your eyes.
  6. Let your breath occur naturally. Allow your body to feel heavy.
  7. To come out of the pose, draw your knees together. Then, roll to your side and use your hands to press yourself up.

Savasana

This seemingly easy position is one of the most difficult to control. The whole art of its implementation consists of immobilizing both the body and the mind, whilst remaining in a conscious immobility. Savasana removes the fatigue caused by other asanas. Performed correctly this should trigger peace of mind.

Instructions:

  1. Savasana should be done only at the end, never in the middle of practice. Performing savasana between other asanas is harmful and disrupts the nervous system. In this case, both Savasana and the remaining asanas cannot be performed properly. Of course, it is recommended to practice Savasana separately, for example in the middle of the day. It often works similarly to a short nap, which is refreshing.
  2. Savasana takes a minimum of 5-10 minutes, and if you need it, you can extend it up to 25 minutes.
  3. During the asana exercise, the eyes remain open and alert. In the case of Savasana, it is advisable to close the eyes so that the mind and body can fully relax. If you feel that this is not enough, you can put a piece of cloth over your eyes.
  4. During Savasana (especially at the beginning) concentrate on deep and gentle exhalations.
  5. Your lower jaw should not be tense, just like your tongue and eyes.
  6. Try to relax the whole body, from your feet to the top of your head.
  7. Initially, we tend to fall asleep in Savasana. Gradually, when the nerves become passive, you will learn to experience relaxation and rest.
  8. Getting out of the position: slowly roll over to the right side, stay for a moment and after opening your eyes, do not rush to sit down.

This is a position in which the whole body absorbs the energy generated during the practice of yoga. The deeper you relax your body, the deeper its regeneration will be.

Do not neglect the relaxation of the body, because stress is deposited in the body, weakens the immune system and can lead to many diseases and problems. And, after all - such a deep relaxation is in itself a pleasure!