I took a chance on a new yoga class yesterday with a new teacher. Now, I am by no means a yogi. My yoga practice is erratic at best and these days I often resist going to yoga even though I know how great it is for me. I resist because of my fear. I fear it will be a reminder of just how out of practice I've become. I fear coming face to face with the rigidity and inflexibility of my body and mind. Most days, I run instead.
But yesterday was different, thanks to this teacher and her attitude of play, acceptance, and gentleness. I do not exaggerate when I say that every 30-90 seconds of the class she dropped one of the following two phrases while we were in the midst of a pose.
"You may want to do less"
"Maybe do less"
I don't know how this technique went over with the other folks in the room, but for me the incessant repetition of these two simple phrases was therapy. Every time she dropped those words, they broke up my struggle to do more, to push myself, to punish myself, to criticize. My body relaxed and then I found the space within myself I'd been striving so hard for. It came as a surprise every time. Over and over again. Total groundhogs day loop in the yoga studio. It was lovely. I find myself hearing her voice throughout the day today whenever I find myself struggling with something, feeling impatient, inadequate or frustrated, which is often! When I stop and do less, something inside of me opens and stretches wider, ready to receive more; and I am grateful.