Friday, February 18, 2011

Twisting out the mind's garbage

Yesterday, I woke up with a clouded mind and feelings of great uncertainty for my future. With college graduation haunting me in the distance, a boyfriend of almost a year, and no idea of where he or I will be in the next few months, worrying is one of my most recent hobbies.

I threw on my yoga clothes, rolled up my green mat and hopped on my bike.

Once I was sprawled out on my mat, I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths. I always try to set an "intention," or a focus for my practice that I need to work on. Sometimes my intention is a person who I know needs the positive energy more than I do. But usually it is a word or a phrase that comes in to my mind within the first few asanas (postures) of my practice. This day, it was "Let go and trust." So i went with it. I started to flow through the yoga class as calmly and clearly as I could, despite my mind's commotion. It just didn't want to let me feel the joy I know I have inside of me. Lately, it has wanted me to constantly question and fear what is going to happen.

Then, my teacher started to lead us in to twisting postures, where you literally twist your torso in one direction and hold for several breaths. On each inhale, you are supposed to straighten your spine and on each exhale, you are supposed to twist further.

Yesterday, my mind was not in the mood to hold these twists. About halfway through them, I found myself thinking, "When can I get out of these damn twists? When is he going to tell us to 'return to face center'?" But he didn't. My teacher apparently knew I really needed these twists. So we kept holding, and a feeling of release came over me. I started to relish in the twists my mind had told me to hate just moments before. I felt like I was literally ringing out all of the worrisome and exhausting thoughts my mind had unpleasantly greeted me with that morning.

Once the twists were over and I finished my practice yesterday morning, I felt new. I had this feeling that everything is going to work out well and I can not worry about the future, because it simply does not exist yet. Yoga is helping me during a time of uncertainty. With each inhale I take, I try to breathe in trust and excitement for the future. And with each exhale I take, I try to breathe out and let go of the fear.  Namaste!

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