The second reason why I love yoga? The surrender.
Yesterday, in our Blissful Hips class, we did Pigeon Pose (of course). This pose is always a powerful one for me. Moving into the pose with one leg stretched out behind me, the other one tucked under my belly and pointing out to the side, brings up unexpected things.
This particular day, Robin gave us a mantra to finish and to focus on while we were resting in Pigeon. She said to us, "Just finish this sentence: I am..."
I ran through a few words in my head to finish that sentence, and then suddenly, it hit me like a thunderbolt: I am changing.
It was so powerful a thought that I started to cry. And not just itty bitty sniffles. Big, fat, hot, wet tears streaming out of my eyes and down my cheeks.
Thankfully, I was bent over with my belly on the floor, so no one could see it.
But that's the idea in yoga: you surrender to the practice, to the pose, and it makes wonderful things happen for you.
You can't do a forward bend or Downward Facing Dog without some degree of surrender. You have to let your head hang loose, surrender to gravity to pull your body down. And it feels WONDERFUL to do that.
For me, surrendering to the pose, to gravity, means that I can surrender anything else that's bothering me. Any thoughts that come up during practice? Yep, there they are, and then I let them float away. Surrender.
Some days, it feels as though I'm being washed down a giant, peaceful river when I'm on the mat. No cares, no worries, no expectations. I just am.
In a world where we are increasingly made to feel that we need to control everything that goes on around us, putting ourselves in a place of surrender can have an amazing power to heal.
It's a paradox - while it makes you realize how powerless you are, at the same time, it makes you understand how very powerful you can be. You CAN transform yourself, your life - if only you can surrender.