Let go … or get dragged (Zen Proverb)
I just finished the practice of the class that I have prepared to open the hips, making some last minute notes that will help me to guide safely and efficiently the students through a sequence designed to release tension in the hip muscles. I must admit that I stepped into the mat tense and tired, but after the session my hips feel lighter, and this feeling spreads throughout the rest of the body and I feel somehow energized.
The hip has many layers of muscles, so if we really want to open the hips effectively, we must have patience during the session to start stretching gently the outer muscles, so we can get into the deeper ones in a progressive and safe approach. As we invite patience to our practice, we can train ourselves to gently let to… not just the tension of the muscles, if we allow it, we can also train ourselves to let go the minor thoughts and episodes that can irritate us, progressing slowly to letting go the bigger and more impactful situations that we all face in life, becoming aware that some outcomes in life do not depend on us, and as such, we can either keep them inside us resulting in an accumulation of frustration, or we just gently and gracefully release them, so they don’t have power of us, so they don’t hurt us anymore, so we don’t get dragged with them.
Silence as a tool to go within
As a teacher, I need to find the right balance between giving the right instruction to guide students safely through the practice, and leave periods of silence where students can travel within, understanding the pose, feeling the subtle effects that the Asana can have in their bodies. Coming from a chatty Latin background, this is always a challenge for me, so I need to be mindful in providing a silence space for them to train themselves to let go.
"Let go … or get dragged" is a popular Zen proverb that comes to mind during this practice… of course, this quote has a far deeper meaning than the one discussed here, but it is a way to bring it to life. The article below explains the deeper meaning of the Taoist teaching for those who wish to read more.
http://zenjournal.tumblr.com/post/7316319321/let-go-or-be-dragged (THICH THIEN AN)
So, let us stretch and open those hips! Happy practice Yogis/Yoginis!
Yoga teacher & Senior Scientist working full time with a major Multinational.