The other weekend I had a chance to spend some time up in the mountains. As we were driving along the uphill, windy mountain road, underneath the towering tress of the forest, we turned around a bend and I noticed a tremendous amount of leaves and pine needles majestically floating down. A gust of wind had gently blown through, eliciting this graceful falling. It struck me how time and time again when enter into fall, the trees simply let go. The leaves don’t cling to the branches resisting the fall, nor the tree grasping onto its leaves.
It was a beautiful sight. There was an opening of sky in between these giant trees shining a ray of light, and as the leaves and pine needles fell, it looked as if they were dancing; celebrating their release – falling, floating, so softly landing on the earth. It truly was grace in action.
In yoga, we are constantly learning to let go. Whether it be in a pose, learning how to let go of tension in our body, or meditation, learning how to let go of our mind.
We attach ourselves to many things – beliefs, ideas, objects, or situations. We cling to the things that we like, hoping for it to never change, thinking that if we only grasp just a little bit more firmly, we’ll never have to let go.
Aparigraha, the last of the 5 yamas, is the practice of non-attachment. It is the understanding that all things are impermanent, the trust that we have all that we need, and the faith to surrender into something higher than ourselves. It is the ability to let go.
BKS Iyengar said, “I always tell people, live happily and die majestically.”
This reminds me of the trees that I saw on our trip. Rooted firmly into the earth, years of growth allowing them to tower in the forest; yet each year they let go. A part of them dies with ease and grace, releasing back into the earth. Come the next year, with the arrival of spring, new life begins to grow. The fullness of the trees become once again.
Letting go doesn’t mean we don’t care about something or that we are giving up. Letting go is simply releasing at a time of what no longer serves us. Letting go creates the space for something new and beautiful to grow.
And this, is magnificent.
With love and light,