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Jul072012

CONTROL

Control is a tricky issue.  We love to feel in control of our lives.  I have witnessed many yoga students attempting to control their bodies by forcing themselves into yoga poses.  I'm definitely guilty of it at times, and it's what most commonly causes injury.  Many of us are all too familiar with that yogi in the studio who is grunting and straining to get into poses (maybe YOU are that yogi).  

Quoting from Judith Lasater's book, Living Your Yoga:

It took me many years to realize that the practice of yoga has to do with letting go of control much more than gaining it...

...We must be willing to do the pose as it is today, not how we think it should be.  We may not like it, but it is the bedrock truth for us in that moment.  Refusing to acknowledge this will create conflict.

So many of us focus on what others are doing in the class, what they look like, and how we look compared to them.  Don't worry about what the final pose is supposed to look like.  It's called a personal practice for a reason.  Get out of your judgmental head and just do what your body will let you do that day.  Just because you are usually very flexible in your forward folds doesn't mean you will be every time you practice your yoga.  Your body and brain are in a different place every single time you step onto your mat...so be gentle and kind with yourself.  

The more we try to control every step our lives take and every pose we do in the studio, truly the less control we have.  It's when we learn to let go and listen to our body's needs that day and simply stay present with what is, oddly the more control we have.  

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