The other morning in yoga class, our instructor invited us all to surrender. We worked hard in a particular pose. The pose was now over. The only thing we needed to do was rest. Lie like corpses and let go of the last pose and not anticipate the next. Just let go and breathe.
Sounds simple, right?
We are given the opportunity to surrender over a hundred times a day. We can either let go, be present, aware of the now or we can get our panties in a bundle. When those panties are bunched up we definitely are not surrendering.
Just in the course of this one morning I have had a dozen opportunities to surrender. It all started at my 6 AM Bikram Yoga class, when I walked through the front door and saw who was teaching. A new guy to me, whose class I have attended two other times. A conscientious, methodical, serious teacher – who never ends class on time. Always running over three to six minutes. That wasn’t going to work for me. It’s Thursday. I watch two little boys besides my own son every Thursday. Their dad has been dropping them off at the same time for the last three years.
I had already let go of the idea of being showered before he dropped them off, but I would at least be there. I still had to be home on time so my husband could get to his morning appointment. As class went on he carefully went around the room gently guiding us to readjust. Each pose was taking longer as he gave long explanations. Helped new participants.
Instead of relaxing into my yoga I was a ball of stress constantly watching the clock. I compared his slower pace to other instructors’ efficient use of time. Red hair female instructor would already have us in “bow pulling” pose and here we were still doing “eagle.”
Let go. I kept telling myself. He is a good instructor, just slower than the others. Stop judging him, trust.
AAHHHHHHH! I wanted to scream, You need to surrender to the notion of each of us doing every pose perfectly. Let go of perfection. Pick up the pace buddy. I come to hot yoga to be a less stressful woman and here I was ready to take over and lead the class.
With the ninety minute class time nearing the end it was obvious I would be arriving home later than planned. I was worried about letting down my husband, concerned about being late when my Thursday boys were dropped off at my house.
At the end of class, when the last breathing exercise is complete we are encouraged to lie on our backs in corpse pose and rest for a couple of minutes. No time to rest for this non-surrendering mama with an agenda.
When I got home eight minutes later than normal, my husband was calmly making his lunch – the Thursday boys’ dad hadn’t arrived yet. They overslept and would be late.
Oh………..so if I surrendered and truly trusted the yoga instructor I could have rested on my back instead of bolting. I could have had a few more minutes to myself. Calm minutes. Never mind, I could have enjoyed class more. Instead of judging the instructor I could have taken in his wise instruction.
Today is also picture day at my 2nd grade daughter’s school. I approve of the outfit when I get home but not the hair. Freshly showered, she has no intention of blow drying her hair. Mama, she says uncharacteristically calmly when I’m pestering her about her appearance, This is my hair, I like how it looks, please stop worrying about my hair.
I surrender. I will no longer be Hitler when it concerns her hair. She’s not worried how it will look when it dries so why the hell should I?
There………I did reap benefits from today’s yoga session. I am calm as we walk out the door, no longer tempted to bring a brush and sneak in a few brushes. I have surrendered my over bearing tendencies to control my daughter’s hair. I call that a good morning.
I call that letting go and surrendering. Now to just be able to surrender to the dishes and laundry waiting for me when I get back home. Baby steps.