Another Change? Seriously?
One of my favorite yoga classes has been CANCELLED. I’ve been attending consistently for three years. It’s been part of my regular schedule and Karen is one of the best yoga instructors I’ve ever taken from. When she announced that it was happening, I was among those pouting. This week, when it was the last class, several students were sad, upset, even in tears. “What will I do next week?” they said in angst.
We are so good at becoming attached to things in our lives, including those that bring us joy, community, and camaraderie. And to detach from them is tough. We also become attached to things in our lives, well, just because they have been around for so long. Ironically it can be just as tough to detach from those things too. Our ego likes to insist we have an “identity”, and to our ego, identity is tied to “things” whether it’s material things like cars and houses, shoes and other spending hobbies, or how we spend our time, our title, our volunteer efforts, or our workout routine. We become attached and we see it as a part of us – literally. Therefore, to detach means we are taking part of ourselves away. And no one wants to lose their right leg! But that’s not actually the case; we don't physically lose a limb just because we change our schedules. In the yoga Sutras, this observance of attachment is svadhyaya, and it’s one of the toughest to recon with, I think.
I read a quote on Instagram last week from womenontopp.com. It said, “Release the things that no longer evolve you.” It’s really stuck with me, maybe because I’m evolving today more than I have in the past several years and it serves as confirmation of my path. But it begs the greater question for all of us: what are we attached to that isn’t evolving our career, our relationships, interests - our growth overall? Granted, sometimes doing the same things all the time can help us feel grounded and safe. But sometimes life forces us to shake it up a bit – to look at what we have, and what we have been doing, and detach from it so that we can try something new.
Ugh, detachment and change are so uncomfortable!
So how can we ease the discomfort of detachment? Gratitude. For me, losing the class is no doubt a major bummer, and now I need to switch my morning schedule around and I'm not sure what I'm replacing it with. But I am grateful for the many things Karen taught me – both from an asana standpoint, and from the intentions she shared each Wednesday morning. The opportunity to reflect and grow in her class cannot be overlooked. Karen also played a large role in my becoming a yoga instructor. Had her class not happened, I’m not sure I would be blogging today or teaching tomorrow morning. And forcing me to replace it with a different class will give me new things to learn, a new person to learn from, and new intentions to consider. That’s one of the beauties of yoga and other forms of group exercise/personal training – each instructor offers something different – so I take class from four different instructors for that very reason.
So I flip my perspective – and instead of fearing what I’ll have to do to adjust my schedule next week, I write Karen a note and tell her how grateful I am that she had the class in the first place, and I thank her for influencing my practice and for encouraging me to become a teacher.
...And my heart warms, and I look forward to what is to come.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” -Melody Beattie