Guest post by Yogasteya member April Eckwielen
It happens every year in most parts of the country. The air gets cooler and the leaves start to change color and one by one fall from their branches. Fall has always been my favorite time of year. To some it may seem heavy and blah, but I think of it as a time to let go and start over.
Have you ever wondered why it seems effortless for a leaf on a tree to let go of its branch, fall to the ground, and let the new cycle of regrowth begin but it is so hard for us to let go and do the same? I ask myself this question all the time.
Like many people, I hang on to things. Not just material things, like my favorite childhood book or my sorority jersey but I hang on to feelings, mindsets and self-talk that usually do not benefit me at all. My biggest things that I have been hanging on to are regret and guilt. Two very heavy burdens that weigh on my mind and spirit.
When people find out that I am a yoga instructor, they immediately think that I am all Zen and peaceful and walk on rainbows all day. That is far from the truth. Just like everyone else, I have my good days and my bad days. I also have my struggles that love to pop up and hang out for a while in my head, like their own little cocktail party only I can never get them to leave at a decent time.
I have dealt with several things over the past few years that have caused this heaviness. Mistakes I have made, chances I did not take, words I never got to say, the death of my father and constant negative self-talk are the main reasons I have a hard time letting go. All of these things build up like a wall, keeping me trapped in the never ending circle of darkness. I try desperately to get out and move on, but something always sucks me back in and I start the cycle all over again.
One night, I was scrolling through Netflix, when I came across a movie called Yoga Is: A Transformational Journey. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I highly recommend it. As I sat there and watched, I could hear myself in the narrator’s (Suzanne Bryant) story. The longing, searching and need to find one’s place and get out of the darkness was the same thing I was wanting to do. Watching this movie made me realize that it can happen. I can move forward into the light. I can make change happen. I just have to be ready and accept it, darkness and all. I need to let go.
I’ve watched the movie three more times and I am sure will watch it many more. Each time I watch it, I gain a new insight and a new way of thinking. I am slowly applying these things to my life and learning how to be like a leaf and let go, while remaining at peace with the process. I can no longer hang on to the things that no longer serve me. They will only keep me in that darkness. I must allow my leaves to fall so a new cycle can begin. I am ready to take the steps necessary to allow this change and fall is the perfect time to start.
April is a unique gal whose passions include yoga, writing, energy work and the occasional pin up convention. On this fantastic life journey, she has her husband and two children cheering her on. She is a 200 hr. certified yoga teacher, certified prenatal yoga teacher and Curvy Yoga certified. She focuses on balancing the chakras through yoga and meditation. Her passion is educating her community that yoga is for everyone regardless of body type or ability. She has recently opened her own mobile yoga business, Red Lotus Yoga in Winter Garden, FL. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on her website at www.redlotusyogafl.com.