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Holding On and Letting Go

Posted in: Blog by amy on July 10, 2017

This summer has been flying by, as the anticipated season always seems to do. I’ve been working most days and writing most nights, and I’ve made very little time for yoga. So, I began to feel grateful the moment my friend Carrie showed up tonight to guide me in a poolside yoga practice in my backyard. FullSizeRender-1We have never practiced outside together, and the night provided the most idyllic backdrop: It was not humid, there was a breeze, the birds chirped on cue and two of my three rescue dogs were outside with us. Also, the nearby train came by as an accompaniment of energy and action at the perfect moments. The hour could not have been better if it had been scripted.

The dogs wanted a piece of the action and seemed to thrive on the peaceful energy that Carrie and I were creating. They became extensions of my poses, and they also provided much entertainment. At first they were a bit excited and distracting. Carrie reminded me that if I relax, they will do the same. Of course, she was right: By the end of the hour, they seemed to be class participants, almost mirroring some of the poses right alongside of me. (See the picture of Cosmo below where he appears to be smiling with his eyes shut, looking just like the Happy Buddha to me!)


What I found to be so interesting about tonight’s practice is the level of true joy that I experienced. I have been practicing yoga for 20 years (albeit infrequently). I have always found it to be a great release, which allows me to focus on temporarily letting go of emotions, memories, feelings and attachments. So, when Carrie guided me and told me to let go of anything that I was holding onto this evening, my thoughts surprised me. Normally, when reminded to release thoughts, I have to challenge my racing mind to clear itself. Also, I often fight back an onslaught of tears as any internal struggles or repressed feelings always attempt to rush to the surface. Yet, tonight was completely different. It was the first time that I had nothing to let go of as I went deeper into a pose. The only thoughts in my mind were the words “joy” and “grateful.” Those two words were on repeat and nothing else was entering that space. IMG_9758

After the session ended, I told Carrie, with great surprise and overflowing happiness, what I had experienced. I know that she shared much of that positive energy and experience with me, as we both were aware and present and truly grateful. From the dog’s entertainment to the pool’s calm to the night’s idyllic breeze, we both (or should I say the four of us, including Cosmo and Payton) were so very appreciative of this experience.

I know that there will be much for which I will need to let go of in a future practice; but for now, I am just purely elated for the experience of not needing to let go of anything. Instead, I want to HOLD ON to this feeling. Always, I preach, it is about the moments. For tonight … for this rare and beautiful moment, I am full of abundant gratitude.


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