Fall is in full swing. The earth is letting go...the leaves fall from trees, the wind encouraging even the most stubborn leaves to ... let .... go. In a similar fashion I find myself stubborn, resistant to the change, hanging on to stuff, much of which I'm sure is no longer serving. But as I rode along the the Mickelson trail, the wind whipping up a whirling piles of golden aspen leaves, I witnessed the beauty of letting go. Some of the leaves so effortlessly fluttered to the ground, unprovoked. While others took a good wind gust to release. But eventually, they will all let go. The accumulation of all that was needed to sustain the tree's life was complete, and it let go. So, how do you let go? Do feelings of letting go percolate up and the release is effortless? Or do you grip on and wait for a good gust of wind? What stuff do you need to release, and let go? When we let go, purge the extraneous things in our lives, we open the channels and energy may flow.
Supporting this idea of letting go is the last of the Yamas, Aparigraha. It is defined as non-grasping or non-possessiveness; not holding on to possessions, emotions, food, thoughts, relationships, or ways of being. Add this Yama and these poses to your practice this fall, and let go.
YIN YOGA POSES
for letting go
Begin in table (hands and knees; place a blanket under the knees as needed) Walk your hands forward, while knees remain under the hips. Gently let your heart melt toward the floor. Pause and notice, observe the mind, body, and breath with empathetic awareness. Remain for 3-5 minutes, then ease the body into child's pose or lower completely to the floor.
Begin in table Slide your right knee toward your right thumb, back leg extends behind the body. (Check in with your right knee, flex the right foot and move it forward or if the knee feels too much stress, bring the foot closer in toward the hip). Center yourself, propping as needed with a rolled blanket, pillow or block, as the sit-bones lower toward the floor. Remain upright for Upright Swan, or walk the hands forward to lower the upper body coming to forearms or lowering to completely to sleeping swan. Again, prop under forearms and upper body as needed. Remain for 3-5 minutes. Repeat left on left side. Observe.
Written by Cheri Isaacson, co-founder of the South Dakota Yoga Conference. Cheri is a K-12 educator, yoga teacher, and essential oil enthusiast living in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. She is in the
process of letting go. Many possessions have made the journey to her garage and she is one step closer to letting go. Perhaps a good Fall wind will help her whisk them away. "Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go. There was no effort. There was no struggle." ~ Saphire Rose.