This yoga mama found herself quite busy today…being grateful, being present, and of course breathing. In my brief mention of savasana (“corpse pose”) in yesterday’s post, I referenced how part of how I teach it is to encourage students to let go and just be in the moment…surrender if you will. Surrender the physical body to the earth below the mat, surrender the mind to the calm brought by the asana work, surrender the spirit to free itself from that which binds it. When I think of this concept “off the mat,” I think it is a goal to sometimes surrender to the chaos of life as a mother. Homes with children tend to be very active and this can cause great demands to be placed on moms. In order to preserve a calm environment for our loved ones, as well as calmness in our minds, we sometimes have to let things go. If every article of clothing isn’t clean, folded and put away, guess what? Everyone will survive. There are days we just can’t get to everything. Provided my children are clean, fed, get to and from school, rested and nurtured on a daily basis, I consider that day successful. There is always more to do, by necessity or by choice, but letting go of some of that on days when you know you don’t have the extra energy to give will contribute towards a more peaceful atmosphere. When I am mindful of this, it benefits not only me, but also my children because I am not overly stressed to accomplish that which will surely still be there tomorrow.
Another layer of surrender, which I try to instill in my girls, is the recognition that we can’t always control our environments, and certainly cannot control the actions and behaviors of others (children or adults!), but what we can control is how we choose to react. When one of my children is hurt by something a friend did or said, I make the focus of discussion not about the other child’s actions, but how best she might react because that is what she can control. When I treat someone kindly but don’t get the same in return, I focus on what I can control…my behavior…and know that even if I knew someone would not return my kindness, it would not make me less likely to extend it.
The idea of surrender is definitely connected to yesterday’s post about being present. If you are able to surrender, regardless of the chaos around you, there is “dharana,” or concentration. Dharana is another of the eight limbs of yoga and suggests that the past and future are of no matter, we purely exist in the now. Whether that point of concentration is external, as in performing a yoga pose or making a meal for your family, or internal, as in meditation, we surrender to all else. Surrendering of the self is such a deep concept, one I hope to address in greater detail on the blog in the future. For now I’m going to surrender into bed amidst roughly three piles of unfolded laundry. It will still be waiting for me tomorrow!
It’s all possible.