As a yoga teacher, I am compelled to always try and put on a smile, help people with their issues, physical or otherwise, and be an all around empowering individual. And while I know my students all know I am human, I am not sure if they get JUST how human myself and other yogis are.
In your classes, I am sure you have been guided to the art of surrender by your teacher, and may be familiar with Sthira and Sukha, translated as steadiness and ease. In the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali the Sutra 2.46 says: sthira-sukham asanam. The most common translation is: “asana should be stable (sthira) and comfortable (sukha),” but is more literally translated as “resolutely abide in a good space.” I use this to help my students understand that even though effort is required to get us into the asanas, (physical postures) once we arrange ourselves into the desired shape, we must take the time to also find the ease and surrender.
How we are on our mat is how we are in life. If we are fidgety, anxious, unable to concentrate, chances are, our life reflects this. If we are rigid, forcing and constantly challenging our body to go further and further, there is not very much room for surrender. Or if we quit all- together on our practice, guess what? We’ve also quit on ourselves in some aspect of our life or goals.
In my own life & practice, I have noticed the 3 F’s sneaking in instead of Trust and Surrender. I’ve found I am constantly applying Force to situations, and living in Fear of what may happen if I Fail. I have not allowed myself to see the ease and grace available to me upon surrender. My body continues to teach me this in ways of my health and home-life balance. When I push myself beyond what I am mentally capable of handling in one day, shut-down occurs on a huge scale. I live in Fear of what will happen if I do not keep up, and ultimately the fear of Failure comes into fruition because guess what? My entire end game has been focused on it! Instead of trusting, applying the principles of the steadiness and ease and surrendering to the universe, I have instead focused on Failure, because the fear that has lead the charge has set up my cells to vibrate in this way. I get sick, tired, apathetic and unable to move towards my goals. The feeling of “stuck-ness” is all I can feel. Are you seeing yourself in any of these?
The good news is that we, as yogis, as seekers of light and truth in all things, can become aware of these self-defeating patterns when they set in and correct our path. My best correction? Meditation and asana. Mostly meditation, but asana is a huge piece of helping my physical body remember what it feels like to feel good. And keeping in mind that there is a divine plan and place for you, your flaws, your gifts, all of it, is helpful to allow surrender to take hold in your life. So next time you find yourself on your mat, find the ease and surrender, so that you may transfer that to your life. In summary; Focus on the good shit. Let the rest go.