A lesson in letting go
In my last blog, I talked about some of the lessons I have learned whilst injured and in particular about the quality of acceptance. In this blog I’m going to think about the quality of being able to
let go, a lesson that didn’t come quite so easily to me!
I don’t really believe in accidents, I think that things happen for a reason. I also believe that as we go through life we are presented with opportunities to learn various lessons, these are different for everyone and some of us have more than others to learn :). Some years ago, a very wise teacher of mine, Louise Rowan from Dru UK, advised me to always look for the lessons in times of dis-ease, and assured me that if I learned these lessons the body would heal itself. I realise that this is a bold statement, but I like it, for me it brings a sense of control and responsibility.
Finding myself in pot, I set about trying to identify what lesson I needed to learn. During meditation and relaxation, and at other quiet times, I repeatedly asked myself what I needed. I thought about what the hands and arms represented. What was I not handling? What could I not get a grip of? Or gripping too tight of? What did I need to hold onto? Or indeed release my hold of (nearly got it here but not quite!) ? I have to be honest it took a while, answers were not forthcoming! Clearly I needed some help, so I worked with the supported shoulder stand (viparita karani) and a particular energy focus, to get a bit deeper. Then ping, after a couple of weeks of practicing, I rolled out of the posture one day, and there was the answer …. it was all about letting go. Stretching out my palm and letting go.
After some initial frustration about not getting this sooner, finally I did start to let go. There were a lot of signs I could have picked up on sooner – letting go is something I have to work on – a lot – I am like one of my Jack Russell’s with a bone, never letting go! Plus, all the time I was injured, I wanted to stretch my hand out. I knew what I had to let go of, and once I had started working on that, things started to shift. Within 24 hours of letting go, I was able to move my fingers, I had my scheduled MRI scan and then I started healing.
To help me with the process of letting go, I worked with forward bends, particularly the standing forward bend, focusing on my low back releasing and allowing the tension, fear and sadness around letting go to drain into the earth. I had some grief associated with what I needed to let go of, so I used the chest expansion (also a forward bend), the Maltese cross and windmill breathing, as these postures open the chest, heart and lungs. In holistic terms, grief settles in the lungs. I also rested in crocodile, allowing any negativity to flow into the earth.
Another helpful practice was the Humming Bee breath (bhramari), which helps to dissolve grief and negative emotions, here’s how to do a basic humming bee breath :
Exhale, gently humming for the length of the out breath, keeping it slow and steady. Feeling the sound reverberating inside.
Repeat twice more, before resting in silence, observing how this breath has made you feel.
Once again my yoga practice came up trumps, and helped me heal, not just the physical body but also on a deeper level. I was delighted, though not surprised, by how quickly my physical body responded to this learning. In conversations with the A & E consultant I was told to expect up to 16 weeks for my wrist to heal and it is my personal belief that that is how long it would have taken if I hadn’t got my mind and emotional body on board.
I hope this blog has been of interest and I look forward to hearing your experiences of how yoga has helped you. Ix