Let go and have some fun. Life is too short. One hundred years from now, whatever it is that you’re holding on to is not going to matter, so you might as well have some fun. These were the prophetic words delivered at a yoga class I recently attended.
This is a message that never gets old and one I love to hear, especially when it is delivered during a yoga class. It just makes me want to bust loose and start doing a happy dance on my yoga mat. It’s the start of a new year, so my challenge for you is: What can you let go of on that yoga mat to make your practice (and 2013) a little more fun?
Feeling a little shy about letting go? Here are a few ideas to give you a nudge in the right direction:
1) I’m Not Joking When I Say Dance On Your Yoga Mat
If you hear a good song on the playlist, pull out those moves like Jagger, wiggle the hips a bit, and get down with your bad self. Each time you flow through a series of yoga poses, you have an opportunity to turn it into a dance.
2) Kick Your Internal Judge
Kick your internal judge in the ass and let it know it’s not welcome on your mat. As far as I’m concerned, there is no room on the yoga mat for judgment about how inflexible you are, or how you think you should look in a pose. Let go of judging yourself, and I guarantee your practice will immediately become a helluva lot more fun and fulfilling.
3) Put Your Blinders On
As tempting as it is to look around to see what your other yoga peeps are up to, avoid the urge and keep your gaze on the beautiful practice that is unfolding right on your yoga mat. One exception here: If you are new to yoga, or attempting a challenging new asana, it is OK to look around to get extra assistance in following the instructions. Just make sure you put idea #2 into practice when you do.
4) One Word: Smile
Simply put, keep a smile on your face through your whole practice. Especially for difficult poses like utkatasana (chair pose) or paripurna navasana (boat pose), smiling like a maniac can get you through the tough stuff. Don’t believe me? Try it out next time you are struggling in your practice. Then come back, leave a comment, and tell me smiling didn’t make it a hell of a lot more fun when your thighs were calling out for a break in chair pose.
5) Turn Off The Monkey Mind
Most yoga classes are one hour long (one hour fifteen tops). What is so important that you can’t just let it go for an hour? Let your shoulders drop down, tap into your body and your breath, and just forget you have any problems for one blissful hour. Now doesn’t that sound like fun? Heck, that sounds even better than fun – that sounds like nirvana to me! If you can let go and give your mind a rest, you’ll be better equipped to tackle what happens to you both on and off the mat.
So do a little dance, make a little love, close your eyes, smile, let go, and have some fun on that yoga mat.