As I watch the sweat drip off of me and onto my mat during Friday night hot power class, I tune in to the chatter in my brain: “It’s too damn hot in here. This is hard. Why in the hell are you doing this?” It’s June, so the tapas (heat) is burning within my body and inside the studio at Warrior One. Then Carol, my teacher, drops this nugget: “I’ve learned that the shortcut in life is to actually move through the pain and not around it. Why are you here tonight?” And I am reminded that I am here to let go of that which no longer serves my soul.
A year ago, I came to Warrior One out of desperation. I was in a dark time in my life, unaware of how to let go and see the light again. Fear, anger and resentment were overwhelming me. It felt as if I were merely surviving, not living. I had practiced yoga at home for several years as a tool to help me with running. But I was too scared to practice at a studio. I thought that I was too fat, not athletic enough and certainly did not have good balance. My friend encouraged me to practice at her studio, and I finally did because I had no idea what else would make me feel better. Red wine and junk food can only numb you so much. I began with cool flow classes, yin and eventually hot power. I liked how much tension I released, both physically and mentally, each time I got on my mat. The studio does not have mirrors on the walls, which immediately made me feel safe. I literally didn’t even want to look at myself.
Yoga is a powerful tool for letting go. I’m not saying that this is an easy process. But I’ve found a community at this studio, in classes and through the teacher training program, that has taught me that I can choose how I live my life...that I don't have to merely survive. In Journey into Power, Baron Baptiste writes, “What will it take for us to really get it that life is about letting go? Let go and then you grow in so many wonderful ways that you’re brain doesn’t even know about yet. That’s the beauty. That there is a supportive force in the universe there to protect you if you stop trying to control it and just let it in.”
What are you waiting for?