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How many items in your wardrobe do you never wear? Is there pointless paperwork lurking beneath your desk? Do you have social media “friends” who no longer bring you joy?
Humans have a tendency to hoard surrounding ourselves with things. Consider the bulging handbag the average woman takes every time she leaves the house. When we outgrow things we often find it hard to let them go. I’m talking about the shoes that are so painful they are worn once and never again or the toiletries too fancy to finish, sitting half empty on a bathroom shelf. All these items are symbols of our inability to let go.
And let’s not kid ourselves we do not only hoard possessions. What about the toxic friendship we just can’t give up? Or that unhealthy habit we can’t seem to kick?
It is natural to struggle with this kind of mental OCD; repeating thought patterns about ourselves and our lives. And to let that clutter go, it can be scary. This is the material we have built our lives around, giving us security, identity and power, or so we think. We fear letting go because without all of it…who the hell am I?
The question we have to ask ourselves is…what are we afraid of? What story about ourselves are we unwilling to let go?
Try to recall how good it felt the last time spring cleaning was finished. Maybe you got rid of an old habit or cleared out your fridge. How light did you feel without that old baggage? And the new stuff that came in, wasn’t it much better than what you had before? So there’s the truth; we must clear out to make space for the new. Having a practice of surrender in your life will make space for your growth and personal truth.
This is when Yin Yoga can make a big difference in the process of surrender. When we practice Yin Yoga, we actually practice the art of letting go. Yin is to enjoy a shape that is authentic, without forcing your body to change. It is to relax into the bones; to be still and kind. To give up holding on.
A regular practice of Yin Yoga will certainly release muscular pain. But it accesses a deeper level than the more dynamic, “Yang” styles of yoga. Yin Yoga works the connective tissues of our ligaments, joints, and bones. It accesses the deep fascial networks that run through every element of our body. This is a continuous connective tissue that exists from head to toe, so that a restriction in one part will affect every other part, and fascia is where our trauma is stored. Physical tension is the manifestation of emotional trauma. Our biography is our biology and fascia stores all pain from the landscape of our lives. Just as a broken bone creates scar tissue, emotional trauma is also ingrained in the history of our body. This is why emotions like anxiety, anger or grief are felt at specific physical locations. And even after the situation has passed our bodies hold onto the memories, until we let them go.
In this way Yin Yoga creates a space to surrender inhibiting mind patterns. As the fascia is released so are the psychological traumas it contains. This is why certain poses can bring a surge of emotion as stored energies are unblocked and let go. And without those thought patterns, we can discover the core of who we are. Not who we were, not who we will be but the ever changing kaleidoscope of your present and beautiful self, right now. And then we will no longer need to cling to the out-dated possessions, people,A or mind. Because right there on that mat, in the stillness and peace, we will remember that we are enough. We will always be enough. Trust yourself. You are more complete than you know. Within you is a power beyond your wildest dreams. And your true nature is unconditionally happy and at peace. Perhaps you forgot this. But don’t worry, Yin Yoga will help you to recall.