Updated: Sep 20, 2020
How can yoga help us to release the past?
Yoga for objectivity
We hold so much inside. Past tendencies. Like little bugs, that at any time, can wake up and start creepy crawling around. They might live just under the skin, or deep down, hidden amongst the creases of our tissues. Wherever they are, they are pesky, but with dedication, breath and humility, we can release them. Let them be free. And in turn, free ourselves.
Take an objective view of yourself. Soar high like a bird in the sky and look upon yourself, your body. Total surrender. Total release. Let the ego drift away with the clouds. Say goodbye to the concept of the doer.
How often do we say ‘I like this,’ ‘I don’t like that’? These attachments and aversions are nothing but kleshas (afflictions, structural defects, deep impressions) and they always arise from the ego, when you see yourself as the doer.
avidya asmita raga dvesa abinivesah klesah - the afflictions are ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion and fear of death - Patanjali’s Sutras 2.3
Working to release our attachments and aversions
If you observe these attachments or aversions as sensations with a calm and peaceful mind, not reacting to them, you will weaken them. The sensations will lessen. Use your intellect, and they will pass. Sensation is not something material, it is forever changing. Understand this and they will be without fuel to multiply.
The bhava associated with cultivating these feelings of humility is called vairagya (the sandskrit word for objectivity). By cultivating these feelings it helps us to become more loving, more kind, and more emotionally mature. We come back to our centre. When we step back, we give space to our space.
Allow yourself to be who you really are, allow others to be who they are. Digest what you have and become like nature - intelligent, beautiful, egoless. Surrender the results to your actions. Do good things because there is no other choice.
These feelings of objectivity and self-reflection can be cultivated in certain asanas. So next time you're in your yoga class, give it a shot!
How can I cultivate feelings of surrender and release during my yoga practice?
Look out for forward folds (standing or seated forward folds, for example paschimottanasana), inversions (viparitakarani or half shoulder stand, sarvangasana or full shoulder stand, or halasana, the plough pose) and heavy sinking draping lying down postures like dradhasana (sleeping buddha), makarasana (crocodile) and the all time favourite, savasana (corpse pose).
Breath slowly into the pose and with every exhale let something else go. Move deeper into the posture with every breath and find space inside to move a little bit deeper. Hold, breathe, sink and rinse. Come out slowly. Letting the blood return and resume its normal flow. Feel cleansed, feel refreshed, feel revitalised.
Ready to create a little bit of space for you? Why not try our Live Online Yoga classes, bringing you accessible yoga for all, from our living room to yours? Sign up now for 15 days of free unlimited classes.
Carrie is a co-founder of The Frog Project, yoga teacher, and full time stay at home mum to two smalls. When she's not playing with the kids or practicing yoga, you'll likely find her in the middle of her veg patch, trowel in hand and covered in mud. She loves the outdoors, and would camp every night given the chance. She and her partner in crime, Martin, set up The Frog Project with the aim of bringing classical yoga to all, and deliver live online classes with a group of dedicated teachers, to students of all experiences, ages, shapes, sizes, jobs, lives, you name it, from all around the world. Join them now and get 15 days of free unlimited classes. It's just yoga.