Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Let it Be

Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind.

Nonattachment or vairagya, is a yoga principal that has had a lot of meaning for me. It's one of many teachings in the Yoga Sutras (a collection of life principals) by Pantanjali. Simply, practicing non-attachment means you are able to let things go. I had a conversation with a dear friend the other day. She noticed that for some reason, recently, when her husband became angry she just let it go. I can totally really relate to my friend because we were both raised by similar mothers who, I am sure unintentionally, but nevertheless, treated us with disrespect pretty much all the time. As a consequence, we both grew up as quiet young girls. It was just easier to not talk with a mom like that. Talking meant feeling badly.

Although we took very different paths to adulthood, both my friend and I have matured into women who stand up for ourselves. In the past I did this a little too much...the pendulum swinging from voiceless to yelling across the valley. I honestly used to feel compelled, "I have a voice and I'm using it!" But, I think with wisdom and confidence, aging and my study of yoga, I have become much more able let things go. When I offer a suggestion at a meeting and nobody picks up on it, I let it go. When my husband is cranky because he is on a diet, I do talk to him later but in the moment when he is irrational, I let it go. I love that the same personal transformation is happening for my friend. I am sure it's one of the reasons we have such deep and genuine friendship. And, I think, for me, what also goes along with this is some sort of faith in life (God?). The little things don't matter so much to me anymore (so I can let them go) because I feel there is a bigger purpose although whatever that really is I am still not sure about. This reminds me of isvara pranidhana, or surrender of the self to some higher principals (another of Pantanjali's yogic aphorisms).

Over and over I am reminded and amazed by how much yoga has become a part of my life :) Yoga has given me a philosophy and a history that helps me articulate what I am feeling. Yoga has always seemed so familiar to me, as though I have always known, forgotten and am remembering again. And in that process, I find peace.

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

(the Beatles, of course!)

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