“Lie down on your backs. Drop all your efforts… and relax…”
Oh how I like the sound of these magical words I keep waiting for every minute of my one hour plus yoga session in the morning! Don’t get me wrong, I love my yoga sessions but the call for “final relaxation”, as my teacher puts it, is like sweet music to my ears. After an hour or so of stretching, bending, twisting of body, lying down and relaxing seems nothing short of a glimpse of bliss!
And I am particularly fond of her choice of words, “Drop all your efforts…”
Meaning: now that you have done all you could, just relax.
Who wants to take on efforts when there is an opportunity to relax? Why wouldn’t one relish the ecstasy of just… being? Especially when there is nothing else one could be doing anyway…
I have found that it is not so easy to drop the efforts. It is easy and even automatic to fantasize about dropping the efforts when I am in the middle of efforts. But when it comes to actually dropping the efforts… I tend to cling.
Funnily, while I am busy looking forward to final call of relaxation during strenuous postures as if that is going to give me nirvana, I catch myself making plans for the day or thinking about days gone by when I actually reach the coveted relaxation.
Sometimes I do fall into soothing abyss of repose for a moment or two, yet I have realized that the idea of relaxation is more alluring than actual relaxation most of the times.
Taking this a bit further, I have a technique of getting myself out of stress. Oh, I have plenty of these techniques that have helped me over the years to get out of difficult situations stronger, better and wiser. 😉
So this one involves me filling a ‘gathri’ (bag) with all my fears, stresses, thoughts around the subject of anguish, tying the knot on the top and placing it on the feet of my isht devta Shiva. Offering the gathri I tell him, “You know the best and I can’t do much about it anyway.” Then, ideally, I should wash my hands off of any further thoughts.
But like I said, dropping anything, even efforts, even rubbish (as in fears and all), even yuckiest of bullshit is not so easy.
Sanil could figure this out. On my prescription he was trying out the gathri exercise for some struggle he wasn’t able to do much about. He felt elated the moment he placed the gathri at a deity’s feet. Smiling ear to ear he said, “Oh, I feel so relaxed!”
He came back after an hour or so… and said sheepishly, “Can I take some things back out of that gathri? I just can’t let go of some tensions.”
“But that’s a gift you have offered to the universe. You don’t take a gift back, do you?” I said smiling.
I have dealt with this “yeah… but…” many a times myself. And have wondered why it is so difficult to part with utter garbage? It is not like we have put diamonds and rubies in the gathri!
It can’t be that we feel more capable than the universe to take care of the situation in a better way. Of course we would have tried every which way we could, only then we would even think of “surrendering”. Then what is it?
Why does “my crap” feels so “mine” that it is almost impossible to give away?
It should be easy, right?
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