This morning I was cranky and PMS-y and didn’t want to get out of bed. But my roommate thankfully knew what was best for me and all but pushed me out of the house to go to yoga.
I drove my lethargic bag o’ bones there, all the while dreading the feeling of not-good-enough-ness that would surely descend upon me when I failed to meet my own yogic standards.
But I got lucky today. I was blessed with a yoga teacher who delivered exactly what I was too constricted to realize I needed. She turned the entire class into a meditation on the words Be Free. Today, she said, our postures are not about creating shapes, they are about letting go. Letting go of anything that keeps us from feeling free.
The power of words is remarkable. At first I repeated the mantra in my mind just because she said so. Every inhale was Be. Every exhale, Free. But with each repetition, the meaning of those words began to expand throughout my body and take on multiple meanings. As I absorbed those meanings, I felt the entirety of me relax.
Be Free of the tension in my muscles. Be Free of my harsh self-judgments. Be Free of the beliefs that don’t serve me. Be Free of the fears that bind me. Be Free of my monkey mind, that tape in my head that won’t ever stop playing. Be Free of of my unforgiveness. Be Free of my anxiety. Be Free of my heartache. Be Free of my loneliness. Be Free of my envy. Be Free of disappointment. Be Free of expectation. Be Free of my inner tyrant.
How well I performed the postures didn’t matter in this class. This class was about allowing myself to Be. Free. To let go. To love myself. To Release.
Be Free of “I should.” Be Free of “I should have.” Just Be. Allow.
Words are potent. As my yoga teacher reminded us at the end of class: Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. And there you are.
So today, Be Free. Take some time to practice this mantra. Sit down on the floor or on a chair and inhale Be, exhale Free. As you do, see if you can let go of some of the tension you are holding in your muscles. As you breathe in with Be and release with Free, remember that all the wisdom of the greatest healers, masters, leaders, and sages is within you.