Getting out of town for me is the hardest thing I do. I am an organizer, a scheduler, a planner, a calendar keeper, and a to-the-minute time controller. I know, doesn’t sound much like a yoga teacher. Travel, especially now, has turned all of that on its’ head. It’s impossible to be in control of anything, let alone the variables of travel with covid still being a moving target.
Add in the holiday craziness. Whether you are traveling or not, I feel you. I feel the energy of all the doing, planning, getting it done, and done perfectly. Case in point…I had so many things on my to do list last week. Four straight days of training and I hadn’t even begun to pack or prepare for a 2 week trip. Every time we had a lunch or dinner break what did I do? Clean? Laundry? Pack? No. I hung Christmas lights. Freaking Christmas lights. I made 8 trips to Home Depot. I kept changing my mind. I literally hung three different sets of outside lights. Call me Clark Griswold. It was an obsession. And a distraction. A project with a finish line, and something I could control.
So if you can relate to my crazy light lady story, I want to share with you a couple of teachings from the Yoga Sutras that are really helping me right now.
- Tapasis translated as “self-discipline,” “effort,” or “internal fire”. It’s necessary if we want to get out of bed and create anything in our lives. According to Charlotte Bell, Tapas is the willingness to do the work, which means developing discipline, enthusiasm, and a burning desire to learn. You can apply tapas to anything you want to see happen in your life: playing an instrument, changing your diet, hanging Christmas lights, or preparing for a trip. In yoga, it’s often seen as a commitment to the practice. You figure out what you can do, and do it every day. Even if it’s just 10 minutes. The first step is doing the things you need to do.
- Ishvara Pranadhana is translated as “surrender” or more specifically, “surrender to that which is greater to you”. Call it God, your Higher Power, or the Universe. This Sutra asks us to do the work, the Tapas, and then let go. Release control, knowing you have done all you can, and know that what will be, will be. It’s not easy. It’s not natural. Especially for us control freaks and DO-ers.
As I board a plane bound for Hawaii, I am letting go. I did all the things. My Christmas lights look amazing. My dog is in good hands. Not sure the packing is 100% but I have a swimsuit and some sunscreen in my bag. I am opening myself to the wonders, and the challenges that lie on the road ahead, and I trust. How about you?