What You Bring With You and What You Take Away

Not the obvious, but  suppose you were to bring nothing to your yoga practice – or, actually, no “thing.”   Might you be able to show up having examined what’s necessary for you to begin?  I’m wondering if you really need more than a willingness to participate fully…

Certainly, you bring experience, but while that may add to your level of confidence, it may have little to do with where you are in the moment that you are beginning your practice.   You may also bring knowledge, stored inside, from earlier yoga classes or studies – knowing the postures, pranayama, mudras, alignment and more.  My image of what you may bring could fill backpacks and suitcases and feels like way too much to bring with you.  Requires heavy lifting!  How to leave them aside so that you can show up as if this is the beginning – as if this is the first, the last or the only practice you are doing.  Just this one practice – right here, right now.

But there’s more!  You also bring your stories, in your mind and in your body.  Beliefs about yourself and also what they mean for what you can do or who you can be on your yoga mat.  These backpacks and suitcase can be heavier than the experiential ones, and we often carry them around with us for a lot longer than we even realize.  Of course, they may be true, or have been true at one time, or perhaps not really true but of service to our ability to move forward and negotiate the world.

I wonder how en-lightening it can be to set these things aside – welcoming new experiences and the possibility of different stories.  How would it be to discover what’s new for you (or what has always been there underneath the surface of the familiar stories, knowledge and experience).  Consider what you might want to take away and whether that means you may have to give up some of what you brought with you.  Might even lead to change…

1 Comment

Filed under Mindfulness, Yoga, Yoga therapy

One Response to What You Bring With You and What You Take Away

  1. jacky Garstin

    Reading these posts for the second time and looking forward to more. This last one about what we bring to the mat held in mind as I speak to the people coming to my just beginning yoga classes. A disparate collection of souls at different times in their lives with different levels of fitness and wellness. Thank you Carol

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