Wednesday, April 25, 2012

No Regrets

Trust that all that was needed to be done, was done. Everything is okay.

These are the closing words of an instructor whose class I have taken several times.

At the end of each practice, we roll onto our right sides into a fetal position and rest there for a minute, eyes closed. 

And each time, she says these words.

The comforting words wash over almost 30 of us who are each lying separately on our mats but together in the studio.

How is it that, at any age, it can be so reassuring to curl up in a fetal position and hear the words most of us heard as babies?


In my yoga practice, when I am moving well, the poses come easily, and the positions meld one into the other through seamless transitions.

And everything is okay.

However, there can be times when my back acts up, making the Vinyasas, or transitions, difficult.

In a Vinyasa, we move from high plank, to low push up, to Upward Facing Dog and back to Downward Facing Dog.

Once, I even had to gather my courage to roll up my mat mid-practice and side step my way over about 10 people just to leave the room to give my back a break. 

And, there can be times when my balance is just completely off, making it difficult to stand in Tree Pose where we are on one foot with the other one tucked to the opposite thigh, or finding me wobbling my way through Half Moon where we stand on one leg, tilt forward, open our bodies to the side and spread our arms like a standing starfish.

During those difficult practices, it does not seem like everything is okay.

But, if I am to believe the instructor, I need to trust that all that is needed to be done, was done, whether I wobble or fall out of a pose.

In other words, I am not supposed to have regrets in my practice. However it goes is fine enough.

Like everything in yoga, I can lift this lesson off the mat.

If a situation finds me feeling a little off balance, or the day starts off a little wobbly, maybe that is okay.

Maybe I do not have to always be moving well and transitioning seamlessly for things to be okay.

I basically raised my children with this philosophy, to exercise their will to impact their own lives but to also allow for the unknown, for things out of their control.

I taught them that this is when faith kicks in, and if something is to come to fruition, then it will or will not. As long as they do what they can, then whatever the result is actually enough.

It is okay.

To trust for everything to be okay, though, takes more than faith.

It takes compassion for oneself, which for me can sometimes be a challenge.

I can look back in some instances and decide that if only I had done things differently, then a different outcome would magically have appeared.

In these imagined scenarios, of course, the magical outcome is always the one I desire.

The practice of yoga encourages me to take the instructor’s words to heart and, with compassion, trust in myself that I have done all that needs to be done.

And that all is really okay.

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