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PostHeaderIcon Yoga and the Art of Letting Go

Last week, I took a yoga class with Chaz Russ for the first time. Chaz quoted Joseph Cambpell in the beginning of class by saying, “we must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

Chaz explained that a caterpillar must, one day, shed its skin in order to become a butterfly. If we are to mature and grow in life, we must “shed our old skin.”

We tackled poses such as eagle or cow. We crossed our legs tight and bound our arms; so when we finally opened up and let go, it felt so good. I could feel myself shedding my skin, not just the trauma and stress I hold in my hips and shoulders, but the silly restrictions I have put on myself by planning out my life.

At a young age, I created an identity for myself. I was to be an edgy artist. After many years of hard work, I realized that the lifestyle of an actress didn’t suit me at all. This was my decision, yet I have found myself beating myself up for never making it.

I guess I’m at that midlife crisis age when we realize that we aren’t the person we always thought we were.  All the creative visualizing that I have done in the past, regarding who I was going to be in the future got shattered by the lessons I learned along the way. I’m so much more now, than the person I ever thought I could be.

I never knew I would grow up to be a fitness professional. I never imagined the growth and contribution I have achieved from completely re-inventing myself.

So, I ask myself, does it matter if I become a successful billionaire if all I cared about was that goal and learned nothing along the way? Or is it the quality of the journey itself that matters?

How did I love? Did I appreciate life? Did I enjoy the view or was I so preoccupied by my plans for the future that I missed out on all the little moments in between?

Do I bind myself to identities and expectations the way I bind myself in my poses? Do I sometimes forget to release the bind, let go and open up?

Am I so set on sticking to one path that I lose my sense of the adventure, forgetting that other paths may open up?

I am reminded to enjoy the feeling of my yoga practice, to appreciate the serenity and peace that it brings me, and not to beat myself up just because every pose isn’t perfect.

9 Responses to “Yoga and the Art of Letting Go”

  • Hmm it looκs liκe your sitе ate my first сomment (it was super long) so I guess Ι’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enјoying your blog.
    Ι as wеll am an aspiring blog ωriter but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips and hints for first-time blog writers? I’d
    сertainly appreсiate іt.

    • Rhea says:

      Thanks Melissa. I have spam control so not all comments get to me. The only advice I would have for people who want to write blogs would be to sit down and write. If you have something you think is important to say, then say it in a blog but don’t hesitate to start. ;)

  • Cynthia says:

    Dear rhea,
    Thank you so much for your honesty. I see so many new age type people who talk and write about the importance of visualizing and manifesting your desires. Hardly anyone ever talks about how for most people it doesn’t work. They fail to mention something of even greater importance: self love and acceptance, kindness and compassion and being happy regardless of what you’ve “accomplished”

    • Rhea says:

      Thanks Cynthia,
      Yes, at some point, I realized, “Oh my, I don’t want those things anymore. I started manifesting those goals when I was naive and lacked the wisdom I have today.” Yes, I agree that acceptance, kindness, compassion and being happy regardless is what spirituality is all about. A friend of mine once said that when he was in the hospital and almost dead, he realized that nothing he accomplished mattered. All he could think about were the people he loved and if he had treated them right. He told me that relationships are the most important things. When you are dying, you won’t care about the other stuff.

  • Felipa says:

    Wow that ωas odd. I juѕt wrotе аn reallу lοng сomment
    but afteг Ӏ clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that oveг agаin.

    Anyωay, just ωanted to say superb blog!

    • Rhea says:

      Felipa, sorry that happened. I do have an anti spammer in effect so I might not get all posts. I wish I knew what you posted.

  • Chaz says:

    I love this blog post, Rhea. Thank you for the kudos. I just share what I’m going through and hope it helps someone through their day.
    I too never imagined a life as a yoga instructor. I went to school to pursue genetic engineering, going as far as becoming a PhD candidate. Then I became a real estate agent! ha. I realized I was good at it, but it wasn’t what I was born to do. I had been practicing yoga since I was 14. Yoga was just always there, sitting on the sidelines, waiting. I believe it’s important to align our lives with what we are born to do, to open to the life waiting for us…to be instruments of service for the Universe. The difference is in making the difference. When it’s easy, it’s meant to be. So beautiful to witness you making a difference in people’s lives. I’m so happy you trusted the path that was waiting for you!
    Hugs!
    –Chaz

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