Dear Homegrown Yogis,
I don’t know how your January went but mine was really really rough. Like I actually thought “I wish it was 2021 again” rough. It felt as though there wasn’t a single day where things went as planned, and I woke up on January 17th and I could not get myself together. It felt as though I was in a spiral of chaos and as soon as I thought I had things under control, something else (mostly COVID related) would come up that would throw me off again. I had simply hit a wall of exhaustion and hopelessness. I got my classes covered for the day and crawled under the covers to hide from whatever thing I imagined was around the corner next. In that moment, I felt completely powerless and overwhelmed.
After a day (or honestly maybe 2-3 days) of self pity and wallowing, I decided to do what I would have told anyone else to do. Get on your freakin’ mat and do some yoga. If you’ve taken any of my Baptiste Power Yoga classes, you’ll know this moment in the sequence. I had just finished those 7 backbends that mark the peak of class, and I was lying with the soles of my feet together and my knees and arms splayed out to the sides. I remembered in this wonderful sweaty moment of surrender one of the very first things I heard in a Baptiste Power Yoga class: the “power” that is referred to in the phrase “Baptiste Power Yoga” isn’t what you think at first. It’s not about the strength or difficulty of the practice – it’s not even about the practitioner using his or her power to do the poses. The “power” in Baptiste Power Yoga refers to the definition of power that Aristotle provides: “Power is the ability to be and let be.”
If we break that definition down, it really means two things. First, it means that power is my ability to feel and respond how I choose to regardless of external circumstances. Power is my ability to remain calm even if my surroundings are chaotic and unpredictable. Second, it means that power is allowing circumstances and events to be what they are without trying to change them and control them. Power means that when a teacher is sick or an event is changed last minute, I let the teacher be sick and the event be changed. (And if you’re reading that and thinking “no duh,Rachel” you’re either way further along on the spiritual path than me or you’re not aware of how much energy you also spend on trying to control things that are never ever under your control in the first place).
To return to my pity party under the covers, I wasn’t feeling powerless because things kept getting canceled and changed. I was feeling powerless because I was trying to control those things, and I was letting those things control me. I’m hopeful that 2022 decides to chill out and get a little more predictable and smooth. Even if it doesn’t though, I am doubling down on my Power Yoga practice by committing to let things, people and events be what they are and to show up with focus and trust no matter what comes my way. So how about it – see you for some Power Yoga soon?! =)