How my yoga mat helps me let go of attachments

I am not a yoga teacher, but some of my biggest breakthroughs and lessons learned have taken place on my yoga mat.

Many people, myself included, hoard and hold onto what no longer serves us. We hold onto a job we are miserable at. We hold onto relationships that no longer make us happy. We hold onto a wardrobe that no longer fits us. What is it that you hold on to that isn’t serving you?

It is often said that letting go is the hardest asana or pose. We desperately clutch onto the familiar because we know what to expect there, even if it is unhealthy and not serving us. The unknown is scary and we hold ourselves back for fear of moving forward into this unknown space.

On my yoga mat, I sometimes have an attachment to what my practice should look like. The breath reminds me to stay present, to get me through it and not around it. The breath opens me up to release what I am attached to. I try to embrace the reality as it is and as it unfolds. A breath of acceptance lets me accept exactly where I am at that moment.

As attachments rise up in my body, I exhale them out. It takes practice, but my yoga mat is the space to strengthen that awareness. It gets me into my body and out of my mind. I can let go of those attachments that say, “I need to be perfect” or “I need to get it right.” I let it go, knowing I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

It is through this practice on the mat, this acceptance on the physical plane, that strengthens my mind to practice acceptance off of the mat. Spending an hour where I breathe through the discomfort of not knowing what is coming next and accepting and meeting myself right where I am in the moment builds that mental muscle for me to do it again when I feel myself holding on to attachments on a daily basis.

Even if you don’t practice yoga, you can energetically do this. Imagine something you want to release. Visualize it and kick it away with your feet. Take a deep breath and turn in the opposite direction and smile. Take a step in this new direction and affirm aloud, “this is not the end of me, this is the beginning of a new me.”

Letting go can be painful. It can be scary. We all have very deep-seated attachments. But often holding on is much harder and causes more pain. What can you let go of today? I’d love to hear from you!