A dear friend who practices yoga with me mentioned having an image in her mind at the end of a recent session, and I absolutely loved it. I have now adopted it, think of it often, and I wanted to share it with you.
If you have practiced with me, you know that I end each of my classes in a similar fashion. We roll from savasana onto our right or left side body. There we seal in our practice with a few breaths, and I say something like “Use these last few inhales to breathe in all the good of practice and the exhales to leave anything here that you don’t want to take with you.”
My friend shared that she had a visual of me, coming in after classes, cleaning the studio and sweeping up all that was left behind, all that was exhaled out onto the floor.
I also have the visual in my mind’s eye of all that was exhaled at the end of practice being tangible things that I came in after to sweep up and throw away. It is part of my service.
I love the energy of our yoga studio. I feel grounded and safe and centered there and hope others do as well. I want it to be a place and a space where students can relax, release, and let go and leave what is heavy and unnecessarily weighing them down. You can leave it and walk away.
And, frankly, it can be easier to let go when you have help with the final disposal.
For example — How many things, tangible things we possess, is it hard to get rid of even when we know we should? We know how much we spent on it or who gave it to us or why we bought it. So we decide to keep it just to see if we start wearing it/using it/enjoying it. But, at least 99% of the time, nothing changes. It still takes up space and leaves us with the same guilt and the same difficulty next time we think about it getting rid of it.
HOWEVER, if we find someone, a friend or someone we trust, who says they have a place for it or can take care of it for us, we can more easily let it go. Even if we know they are going to donate it for us, it is still easier.
I have, on more than one occasion, offered to take something from a friend so that they could let go of it and not feel guilty that they threw it away or gave it away. I offer to do that for them, and, often, that is easier. We can do that. That degree of separation makes the letting go bearable; our friend helps us.
I have also benefited from friends who have done the same for me, taking something off my hands that isn’t serving a purpose for me. Whether they use it or donate it or throw it away, it is still easier to release.
These moments and breaths at the end of class represent the same idea to me, with emotional “possessions” instead of tangible ones. We carry feelings and beliefs and thoughts and worries, sometimes because we think we should or have for this long already or because it isn’t solved or fixed yet, or ________ (insert infinite reasons here).
Even if we don’t want to carry it around or feel it anymore, the idea of getting rid of it, throwing it away, disposing of it, can feel difficult to even impossible.
But you don’t have to dispose of it. You don’t have to be the one who throws it away.
Let me clean it up and take care of it. All you have to do is set it down.