March; Our month of letting go

Spring is here and what better way to start the new season than with a fresh, spring clean of the mind and letting go of all of the things holding us back, restraining our self-development and preventing us from being healthy and happy! Our teaching throughout the month of March has been that of letting go. Letting go of; perfectionism and the ego, technology, striving for happiness within the future rather than the present and judgement.

Letting go of Perfectionism and the Ego

Our month of mental release began with throwing away the idea that life needs to be perfect. Life isn’t and never will be perfect for any of us. No matter how hard our efforts are we will always be faced with adversity, challenges and hurdles and hey guess what? that’s okay! We only have control of ourselves and our reactions anyway and unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn’t accommodate to suit us. But again that’s okay too! We should embrace challenges as well as failure, as this is how we learn, develop and grow as individuals. Instead of wasting energy and headspace on a wild goose chase of ‘perfection’, why not let this go and instead strive to make life interesting, educational and a way to become a multifaceted, colourful person. What is ‘perfect’ anyway? Most of us don’t actually know.

Whilst we let go of the things we cannot control, let us also let go of the things within us which we do have control of. Our own ego can actually be our biggest enemy if we don’t pay attention to it. Letting go of our inner ego can be a sure fire way to bring happiness and mental contentment in abundance into our lives. Self-doubt, fear of failure, lack of confidence or caring too much about what others think of us all massively hinder us in moving forwards and leading stress free lives. Such thoughts simply do not help us. Let us let them go, if not at the very least be aware of these thought processes as they occur. The more aware of these maladaptive thought patterns we are the more mindful we can be of them when they do appear and just as quickly address them. Completely let go of your ego and unapologetically be yourself.

Letting go of Technology

Our month of inner freedom hit its midway point with a big lesson on letting go of technology. It is certain that technology is here to stay and it can be a wonderful thing! But it can also be a great source of stress and negativity if we constantly absorb ourselves within it or aren’t aware of our behaviour in relation to it. Letting go of technology for just 1 hour a day or a full 24 hours a week can massively improve our mental health and well-being as we give ourselves; time to be unaccessible and disconnected from a constant stream of bad news and information about other people’s lives. Disconnection can also help us gain a greater perspective on technology’s influence over us. We have become incredibly reactive to our phones and emails, with each and every notification being immediately attended to. Our focus, mental space and ability to concentrate becomes incredibly diluted with each and every vibration within our pockets. Are you as attentive to anything else? Next time your mini pocket screen shouts for your attention just see how reactive to it you actually are. Maybe you set your alarm using your phone and before you’ve even got out of bed you find yourself scrolling mindlessly through other people’s lives rather than ensuring a good proactive morning routine for your own. This constant ‘highlight reel’ can leave us feeling unhappy, discontent and miserable with our own live’s realistic ‘behind the scenes’. Let go of this idea immediately and instead of incessantly watching others’ lives take proactive steps to ensure happiness within your own. Let go and disconnect even if it’s just for a little while.

Letting go of Waiting for Future Happiness

Our month of untying mental restraints continued with teaching our students how to let go of the ‘i’ll be happier when’ concept. How often do you think like this? For example; you’ll be happier when; you have a better house or a bigger car, when you go on holiday, when it’s the summer, when it gets to the weekend, or when you’ll feel less stressful? This is a very impermanent statement. With each ‘ill be happier when’ statement fulfilled we quickly tend to replace it with another. Let this concept go. Happiness is right now! Within each and every mindful moment. It is the only time you are truly alive. Instead of striving for a perception of future happiness, show gratitude for all of the great things you already have. Being grateful for the things we already have is much more likely to encourage happiness and peace with life just as it is right now. This concept of mental ease and contentment in yoga is referred to as ‘Santosha’ and is the second of the guidelines for good internal living referred to as the 5 Niyamas. The more we show gratitude for things, no matter how small, the more wonderful we can see life. Just as it is.

Letting go of Judgement

Our month of letting go finished with letting go of judgement. In the judgement of others we only affect our own well-being by diminishing our sense of self-worth and by creating a sense of vulnerability to a world we consider as doing the same to us. In other words, judge others to feel judged. Gossip, negativity, hostility and judgement towards others only actually causes cognitive dissonance within ourselves through highlighting our need for acceptance, love and validation . When we truly accept ourselves, we also accept others, just as they are and realise there is more depth to a person than simply our perceptions of them. Whilst we may disagree with others’ choices we are merely a bystander in other people’s worlds just as others are within our own Judgment of others tends to come from a need to make ourselves feel better, which ironically, just highlights our lack of self-acceptance. Let us let go of judgement of others by being aware of these thoughts as they arise and open ourselves to compassion, kindness and care and appreciate the underlying thought processes within others’ minds who do not reciprocate this love towards us.

We have had a great month of letting go in the Varchisa yoga studio and what better way to follow our month of letting go than with a new month and theme of ‘new beginnings’