Yoga: Let go of the past and find freedom in the now as we face a new year

worldoysterAs we enter 2014, many of us will be reflecting on the ups and downs of the previous year. Many of us will be weighing up our actions and judging ourselves based on where we were at the start of the year in comparison to where we are now. But imagine if we let go of all that happened last year?

Don’t get me wrong. By letting go, I don’t mean forgetting. I’m not advocating that we should discard any achievements we may feel we have made in the last year or criticising the value of vision boarding our plans however, having re-invented my ‘self’ year on year as I come closer and closer to my truth, it would be easy to become disheartened if I saw my life as a ladder I must climb since, having moved to a new part of Somerset facing a new market where I am less known and I am less familiar with the terrain, it would be tempting to think that I have slipped back down the ladder. To see things this way is hard work, frustrating and tiring and it’s merely a perspective – a state of mind. A state of mind which affects how I feel about everything. It would have been easy to cling onto my life in Wiveliscombe by thinking about it in terms of, “I’ve done so much… worked so hard… come so far,” which would have stopped me being open to the flow which took me to a new relationship, new friends and new work opportunities. I’m now going to be teaching yoga in north somerset – Burnham on Sea, Bridgwater and the surrounding areas – completely different from the world of Exmoor. It is this same thinking that can hold people in the careers they hate, houses they dislike and relationships with people they despise.

Imagine if nothing existed beyond the place we are in right now. Imagine if we didn’t have to worry about where we were going to find the money for the electric bill and the summer school uniforms? If whether we had increased the balance in our savings account or how far we had moved ahead with our business plan were merely figments of our imagination and instead we are starting right here, right now? How free do you feel when you put down the suitcase you’ve been carrying with your past and the suitcase with your future? How light do you feel when you appreciate the warmth of your jumper, the smile on your partner’s/child’s/friend’s face? If we place finding happiness at the centre of our world, we can allow ourselves to be guided by experience instead of pay rises and new purchases. Spend time reflecting on the things that made you feel good and where that feeling lasted and ask yourself if you can make that happen again. Embrace the painful memories as they remind you of the beauty left when that pain subsides. By seeing the lessons in everything, the pain and the pleasure, by embracing the spectrum of our emotions, we allow ourselves to accept our state as humans. This is how we practice yoga. Non attachment – to the past, the present and things…

Imagine if right now, you had only just been born? As if all you’d known was love and the world were your oyster. I’d love to hear from you!