Friday, October 21, 2011

Fall with Friends

We are constantly changing - on and off the mat. Some days we're on the ball at school or work - conquering whatever may come our way! Some days we just want to go back to bed and start over. Some days we can stretch deeply coming into a full wheel, but sometimes we just may not be feeling it. Some days we may be so steady in our tree pose, but sometimes we may fall out. Every day our bodies respond differently depending on what is going on in our lives or what we may be feeling inside and that's okay. Our bodies change every day and change can be hard. Change can be confusing. Change can be uncomfortable. But change can be easier with friends.
Introducing "The Little Yellow Leaf" by Carin Berger. The Little Yellow Leaf is afraid of change. One by one he watches all the other leaves fall from the great oak tree. "I'm not ready yet." he thinks. "Not yet. Not yet. Not yet."
The season changes and still the Little Yellow Leaf hangs on tightly. Why? What is he afraid of? Why won't he just let go? As yogis we practice the art of "letting go", the art of non-attachment. We gradually learn to let go of the things we are attached to - it is a process. The thing that most often keeps us attached to objects, people, or feelings - is fear. Fear of the unknown. And the way to conquer this fear is through understanding. Having awareness of our fears and compassionately observing them allows us to embrace them for what they are so that we can more easily let them go. Hiding these fears, keeping them inside or becoming ashamed of them is gives our fears power - makes them grow bigger. Sharing them with a friend and putting voice to these fears often helps...just like it did for the Little Yellow Leaf.
Just when the Little Yellow Leaf felt most alone, he spots a scarlet flash on the other side of the tree - a leaf, just like him, holding on to the great oak tree. "You're here?" called the Little Yellow Leaf. "I am," said the Little Scarlet Leaf. "Like me!" said the Little Yellow Leaf. Neither spoke. Finally..."Will you?" ask the Little Scarlet Leaf. "I will." said the Little Yellow Leaf. And one, two, three, they let go and soared! Together.
It is so much easier with a friend. The Alluem Kids found that out as they reflected on the last thing they were afraid to let go of - whether it was a toy or favorite shirt they've out grown, moving on to the next grade, moving to a new town, saying good bye to a pet - all agreed it's easier when you can share your feelings and fears with a family member or friend. And what better way to celebrate our friends then...partner poses of course!!!

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