Yoga: Lessons in letting go – knitting is a surprising tool

JumperI started knitting an Icelandic jumper at the beginning of a relationship break up around 4 months ago and I have so far, only knitted just below the neck line. It’s the first time I’ve picked up a set of knitting needles since I was about 12 years old and my friends all laughed when they heard what I was up to – my usual, throw myself in at the deep end attitude.  Couldn’t I just knit a scarf? So how can it be that I’ve knitted so little in such a long time? Either I must hardly be doing anything or constantly be undoing work right? Right.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve got four rows into the pattern only to find that the entire thing is out by one stitch. Knitting requires a level of presence, particularly when following a pattern – something I’ve often found difficult being a persistent daydreamer and as an Aries, patience and the ability to finish a project are not exactly my strong points. However, one thing this process has made me realise is how far my yoga has brought me.

There would have been a time where I would have wanted to cry at the thought of unpicking so much and starting again as I’d have been so attached to the amount of effort I’d put into it. What? Undo all that hard work? I probably would have given up rather than even attempt it. In the same way, in the past, I have hung onto relationships that were actually detrimental to me, simply because I felt I’d invested so much or I’d have kept forcing myself down a particular career path because I’d ‘come so far’. But the real lesson is being able to do all that stuff and let it go. Whether it’s an object we’ve saved hard for or a person we’ve invested years of our life in, being able to feel full even when it’s not there any more is a blessing and in this, we can find true freedom.

By trying to hang onto things because we’ve put so much effort in, we are blockading ourselves into situations  and potentially, preventing something new and better from walking in. So the next time you find yourself holding onto something/someone because you are looking at it in terms of the past, try turning it on its head and ask why it was so hard to do in the first place. By putting yourself in the right mindset, you attract in the things you need and want much more easily, especially when you let go.

A tip to help you in the process – enjoy the journey. Each time I have to unpick and redo, I remind myself how much I love this wool. The feel of it under my hands. The joy of seeing the stitches growing under my fingers. The beautiful flecks of different colours in the dye and how they lift to my eye. If you aren’t enjoying your journey, maybe you need to change it? Be aware too that the end result might not be quite as you expect. I know that there’s always a chance that my jumper isn’t going to fit. Just like I know that my plan to build a gypsy caravan/roulotte for some reason, may never eventuate. It all kinda depends on what the universe has in store for me. I know though, in the meantime, I’m damn well happy. Thank you yoga! Try it yourself and see.