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Our Teachers in Training share their insights with the YogaSport community.

by Evelyn Roland

I don’t think it’s any secret that I love yoga. Why wouldn’t I?  Yoga has so many great things to offer. I have been practicing for 3 years and have learned a lot about myself along the way.  There are things that I have heard teachers say that have really hit home for me and helped me to make changes on my mat and in my life, such as, learning to breathe through the challenging moments and how beneficial it is to just sit still. But there are also things that I have heard said many times by many instructors that very clearly did not apply to me, such as, how certain yoga poses can bring up emotions
and how what we do on our mats, we also do in our lives.  And while these messages did not apply to me, I thought they were great and I was glad that they were being delivered to ‘those people’ who needed them.  I hoped that ‘they’ were listening so that ‘they’ could grow and get as much out of yoga as I was getting.  And then this summer, it suddenly became clear… Holy Crow, those messages are for me!

As much as I love yoga, I have always struggled some with my practice.  There have been poses that I have resisted strongly, mostly poses that involve going upside down.  I knew that there was some self-doubt that I needed to deal with, but I also knew the largest part of my resistance was based on fear of losing control.  And in the end, I was partially right.  It was fear of losing control … but not physically like I had always assumed.  It was emotionally!  Lo and behold, there really are some poses that bring up emotions, but the reason that hadn’t been true for me up until now was because I was actively avoiding most of them.

That realization shook me up a little bit.  But it also forced me to look at some things differently and to think about what else I might be avoiding for all the wrong reasons.  I am now actively trying to lose a little control and I have cried through several of my practices recently.  Amazingly enough, I feel so much better!  My practices (and my soul) are so much lighter and less strained.  I have become incredibly aware of the amount of energy I was spending trying to maintain strict control over things that are not always supposed to be in my control.  I was literally exhausting myself.  And letting go of some of my control has been surprisingly freeing.  But, as happy as I am to have learned all of that, what I really learned was that there is no ‘them’.  There is only ‘us’, and we should all try to be as open as possible to any message offered to us in the course of our practice.    Who knows what might happen.