Starting out the year by bringing it back the mat

Yoga Studio
Yoga can teach us many things. For me, it’s a way to take a time out from life, take a deep breath and sort through my thoughts. I know it has been a very inconsistent blogging year for me and, trust me, there is so much I want to write about; so much that I have experienced and learned. Today though I wanted to start off 2013 with a deep breath and a moment of clarity. Let’s shake off anything from 2012 and have a peaceful 2013.

OM-vember clearly ended a while ago and somehow it’s now nearing the end of January. I’m still struggling to keep that ‘OM’ going as much as I can. Too often I let the overwhelming needs of everyday life consume me and I don’t leave time to check in with me until I’m in over my head. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, we’ll never be able to be the best employee, friend, parent, spouse, brother, sister, son or daughter that we can be.

I went to a much needed yoga class last week. Having been a while and already weak from a stressful schedule, I knew it was going to be a rough one. It would have been easy to just sit at home, letting the stress build up more inside me and to not do anything about it. However, it wouldn’t have helped anything. So, I forced myself to go. I ignored the inner dialogue trying to talk me out of putting on my yoga clothes, getting in my car and walking into that hot room. Excuses were flying wild, but I stepped into the heated room, laid out my mat and sat in the stillness of the studio waiting for class to begin. The room was hot, the class was hard and yet I continued to push on because in life that’s what we have to keep doing. Life is filled with unexpected happenings that are going to try to bring you down. You’re going to fall, you’re going to get hurt and you’re going to want to give in and stay down. I have felt this all too often during the majority of the past year and I’m sure many of you have too. We take a breath though and push on. We can’t change the past, nor can we predict the future, but we can focus on the time we can change and that is the present.

At the end of class I lay there in savasana, listening to Mumford and Sons playing quietly in the background, the lights off, being still with my thoughts. An unimpeded feeling fell over me as I realized I had pushed myself as hard as I could, gave all that I had and all that was left were the tears that were streaming down my face and onto my mat.

Free yourself with the knowledge that you can’t control everything. Breathe, let go, and live.