Join me Tuesday nights 6-7:30pm for a Free Yoga Class. Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/284954703
Today’s practice will be the 2nd practice of 9 in honor of George Floyd and our exploration of Bhakti Yoga.
A practice of Bhakti yoga is surrendering and letting ‘it’ go. Sometimes our worries and life challenges are more than we can carry alone. Our society glorifies the ideas that: we are an individual (and therefore separate), we have control over our environment (master ideology) and that we need to fix what is broken (savior ideology). The truth is, we are not alone, because everything we do affects the world around us. We are largely not in control of our environment as we cannot control others and we cannot control nature (COVID-19 has surly revealed this to us) and we don’t always need to ‘fix’ things. Sometimes, we rush to fix something, when if we had waited and seeped in the problem a little longer, we would realize that the way we rushed to ‘fix’ it actually made it worse. Sort of like jumping to a conclusion without actually listening to the other’s perspective. A simple example is telling someone ‘shh, shh, it’s ok, don’t cry’ when we should be doing just that, crying out, releasing our sorrow or anger or whatever our emotion. Our need to fix things is sometimes in response to wanting to bring things ‘back to normal’, sometimes to sweep it under the rug, like we have done with racial injustice for so long. The problem with this type of fixing, and controlling is that eventually, we trip over the rug, we trip over all we have hidden away and it comes tumbling out. Instead of fixing or control, what if you gave it up, let it go. Offer up your joy, your sadness, your anger and fear, your worry. Give up the responsibility of being alone, of having to control or fix.
There is a rich history of letting go of your worries in many religions and traditions:
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says: “Whatever I am offered in devotion with a pure heart – a leaf, a flower, fruit or water – I accept with joy. Whatever you do make it an offering to me – the food you eat, the sacrifices you make, the help you give, even your suffering.” 9.26-9.28
There are multiple bible verses that talk about giving your burdens up to God or Christ to carry.
Indigenous Guatemalan culture has Worry Dolls, where a child can whisper their worries to a little doll, that they then place under their pillow to sleep over, with the hope that the next day, their worry would be alleviated.
The Hawaiian culture has a goddess named Aumakua who is the guardian and fulfiller of wishes. In the Hindu practices it is Ganesha, the elephant headed god who removes obstacles.
You don’t need to believe in a divine higher power for this idea to work, you can give it up to your higher self, you can give your self the offering of time to allow what ever ails you to ripen until that fruit is ripe and it is clear what the next step is.
Have you every had a worry, that when you let it go, and slept on it, the next day it was resolved? I remember this especially when I was in school, struggling to understand something. Try as I might, I could not ‘solve’ the problem, but after a night’s rest, miraculously the solution would appear. There is neuroscience that supports that sleep can help the brain resolve problems. Here are two articles that are interesting, one from the Greater Good and one from Psychology Today.
In the 12-Step Program which was developed for overcoming addiction they have this idea of a God Box, a place you can place your worries to let ‘God’ take care of it. Remember you don’t have to call it a God Box you can call it the ‘Let it go Bag’ or ‘For later Place’. I have created a ‘God Box’ for our 9 week journey. Just send me any worry or offering you would like me to put in the God Box for you. I will add it any that comes up during our class as well. You can post stuff too on my Facebook Page. Or create your own box for yourself. Every time a nagging worry comes up, write it down and put it in. You can do this as many times as you need to. At the end of our 9-week journey, I will burn our ‘God Box’ as an offering.
Tonight, bring your offering. Bring your prayers. During our centering meditation at the beginning of class, you will have an opportunity to share these worries, offerings or prayers if you’d like. After our asana (postures) we will conclude class by chanting, 108 times, the mantra: Lokah Samastah Suknino Bhavantu which translates as “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.” You are welcome to join me or to simply find a restorative posture and allow the vibration of the mantra to wash over you, like a sonic bath. You can read more about chanting and this chant here. ()
I look forward to seeing you tonight!
Dive Deep to Ascend,
Andrea Carvalho, musings on the journey to vibrant embodiment.