Are any of you going through a massive spring cleaning bug like I am? There is something about the warmth in the air and the green grass returning that makes me want to sweep every corner and toss so many things. I am giving away elf clothing that no longer fits, opening windows to let in the fresh air and tossing the broken, damaged and no longer useful things in my house. Maybe it’s the constant playing of the Frozen soundtrack by my Elf that is motivating me to toss things! “Let it go, Let it go….” Whatever the impetus….
There is such freedom in releasing what is does not serve you.
Why do we not constantly do this reassessment of worth in our life on and off the mat? Why does it take a seasonal change or an alignment of the stars to kick our asanas into letting things go?
I have said before on many occasions that Pigeon pose is one asana that does not work in my body. Pigeon pose and I are not friends. But it took me literally almost 5 years of hating pigeon pose in nearly every class to realize it was not kopasetic in my body. The signs were there: my knee hurt, I could not find ease, there was no comfort, the stretch was not in my piriformis. Yet, I failed to listen to the messages. Some teachers saw my struggles and told me “the pose you hate the most is the one you need the most. ” So I ignored the chatty knees and inner thighs. Others suggested that it was emotions that were held back and to which I was not ready to acknowledge living in my hips that kept me from loving Pigeon. I stuck with it, not listening to my own intuition, not reading the signs, and not being willing to let it go.
My story with Pigeon is no different than what we experience when we ignore the red flags that come up in relationships, jobs and other life situations that are not working. The friend who puts down other people, who never listens to your stories, and who always puts themselves first might just eventually put you down, tune out your needs and might not be willing to compromise. The job that has a boss that refuses to compromise with some employees might just be a job where compromises you need will not happen.
There are ALWAYS signs but sometimes we refuse to acknowledge them.
Once I started listening to my body and decided that there was a correlation between my sore knees and my practicing Pigeon, I stopped doing it regularly in class. I noticed that my hips were not structurally comfortable in that pose because of my bones and not because of my emotions. I learned that internally rotate hip openers were the ones I loved and where I could linger, not the one that made me so mad. I found ease in the clearing out those signs I had collected but not paid attention to: there was freedom in telling Pigeon pose why we couldn’t be friends anymore.
In the last couple of months I have approached transitions with a freeness that has eluded me for years. Instead of struggling to make things work that do not, I have accepted that some things, some poses and some people do not jive with my groove. I am no longer trying to get the proverbial puzzle piece with the eye to fit in where the missing tail piece goes.
My spring cleaning last year included Pigeon and Scorpion and Flying Pigeon and Ardha Matseyandrasana. This year it includes old computers, unnecessary tasks and relationships I have tried to keep floating even though they were wearing lead vests.
I feel buoyant in these releases and the corners of my house, my yoga mat and my inner spirt have never sparkled more. There is space in the release that is available to foster those asanas/relationships/things that work for me.
I teach the yoga of ease to my students. My goal is that they find asanas and modifications that work comfortably and with ease in their bodies. I hope this post reminds you, dear readers, that it is ok to unfriend poses that seem to repeatedly be not great for some reason. Listen to the signs, whether they be about your relationship with an asana or a person, and allow yourself a bit of spring cleaning. Ask yourself “why can’t we be friends?” about that pose, job or person. More than likely, the signs you have been overlooking will point you to the answer.
Listen to the signs.
xo, big love