The Practice of Letting Go

I am feeling immense gratitude this morning for the opportunity the practice of yoga affords each of us to willingly surrender each time we arrive on the mat.  Whether it be surrendering worries and troubles by turning the palms up in offering, nestling into the stable embrace of the earth in child’s pose, maintaining equanimity in a difficult posture, or submitting to the breath and body’s demands rather than the needs of the ego, yoga offers us many ways to practice letting go, surrendering to a greater will than our own.   In choosing to practice this we perhaps find that this space of surrender becomes a welcome space; a familiar ground for change where we are no longer victims of circumstance, but rather are resolved to embracing life’s way of transforming us.  Maybe then when we find our knees have buckled in fear of the unknown or that which we cannot control, or we find ourselves prostrate on the floor in grief, life having whittled us down to a pile of rubble, we can proceed to exist in this space without it feeling like a threat or so uncomfortable that we try to escape.  From there, we can trust the process, sit this not-so-comfortable seat with minimal wiggling and writhing, and simply be, knowing what it is to truly let go, to submit to the path and what it has to offer, and to breathe.  While the circumstances that drive us into this space of surrender are often painful, they are worthy of our gratitude, for we never leave the space of complete surrender unaltered.   May we each find the ability to experience ease and peace in even the most trying situations, and may we be comforted in the knowledge that the tools we need to carry on will always be available to us.

“Surrender is a beautiful movement in which you gracefully, willingly, languidly fall, only to find midway that you have been gathered into some unimaginable embrace. Surrender is letting go, whether or not you believe the embrace will occur. It is trust to the hundredth power–not sticking to your idea of the outcome, but letting go in the faith that even the absence of an outcome will be the perfect solution.”
~Daphne Rose Kingma

 

Many blessings to each and every one of you,

Lori

Settle into September with the Sutras

Greetings all!  We will kick off our first month of the Dragonfly Book Club by reading Sri Swami Satchidanada’s translation of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  The Sutras outline the possible paths for our individual yogic journeys, offering us guidelines and wisdom to support us as we endeavor to grow and deepen our practice.  Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the studio soon.  We will take the month of September to read the book, during which book club members are encouraged to share commentary and thoughts via the Dragonfly Book Club blog.  On September 28th at 6:30pm, join us at the studio to discuss the book as a community.  Grab your cup of tea and start reading!!

Wishing each and every one of you a wonderful week–

Lori

Beautiful Injury

   

    I teach a fun and fast paced power flow class every Saturday morning. There isn’t anything we won’t try, all with the emphasis on the balance between stability and freedom. This morning, student after student came in with numerous injuries: shoulders, knees, necks, hamstrings, low backs. Being a Yoga therapist, I had a mini freak out in my head as all these injuries layered in on top of one another. I questioned just how this practice might pan out with so many diverse concerns. My intention in teaching is that each practitioner walk out feeling better than they did when they came in or they have learned something about themselves, their practice or their patterns. Maybe both. I was in for it and had a fair amount of tension in my own body that brought me to reckon with the opportunity of such a class.

                Then, as often the angel of Yoga does, I was reminded that injuries aren’t bad. Injuries are inherently imbalances that teach us where and what is imbalanced. Usually, they do this in the form of alarming pain, which we naturally resist and want to avoid. Suddenly, the fear of facilitating a class that addressed numerous injuries transformed into the opportunity to embrace all the injuries as teachers, friends even. I welcomed the students to see where in their bodies, breaths or minds, they were struggling or facing some sort of pain. Like a good friend, sit with the pain for a bit and see what it wants to say. The injury’s job isn’t to hurt us; it is to alert us to what needs to change. Upon working with many of the conditions present in the practitioners, under the scope of “Injury as Teacher,” a beautiful thing happened. The uncertainty and fear of the injuries were softened. People who had come in with pain on their faces had started to smile, shine even. The pain, while still present perhaps, was not a threat. It was a friend who cared so much about our well being that it asked us to pay attention and return to balance. It asked us to be kind to ourselves. It was asking us to embrace everything at our disposal as a way to return to wholeness, including our pains and that which we would push away. Beautiful injury – what a concept.

                And, it worked because we worked it. The attitudes of trepidation were shifted to attitudes of friendship. There is, after all, nothing to fear. When we can replace our reactions of dread with choices to connect, we find our lives much better for it. As Rilke said: “Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” Now, I like that, and I hope that that the students who courageously stepped up to sit with their injuries today found they walked out feeling better for having done so. If nothing else, perhaps some of us learned we could all stand to shift the paradigm.

Welcome to our Dragonfly Yoga blog!

Namaste!  Welcome to Dragonfly Yoga’s blog site!  Dragonfly Yoga has a diverse community of teachers and students and this site is a way to show case each teacher and any students who wish to share their journey of yoga.  Each of us has traveled a different path to our practice of yoga and here is a platform to share your journey.  I welcome you to express yourself here, ask questions, share information, and let us get to know you!

How I got here is very sacred and precious to me and I am grateful for my journey to this point.  My path has just begun! I will share my story in later blogs.  I want to hear from you, so contact us by email or let one of our teachers know if you are interested in submitting a blog for our site.

Much love,

Michele

Dragonfly Book club

Welcome to the Dragonfly Book Club forum.  Starting in September we will be reading the yoga sutras and sharing our thoughts and questions here before we meet.  There will be a sign-up sheet at the studio and books available for purchase.  More information to come!!