Goodbye Summer, I must now let you go. Hello Autumn, may I shed with you? Autumn speaks to us about shedding what was, resting, retreating and reflecting on what will be. More often than not however, we are trying to hold on, gasping at what we once had but as practicing yogi-s we should be well versed in the act of shedding as it is something that we do on the mat over and over and over again with each exhale. “Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
When we walk a path of yoga, we remain open to seeing those opportunities where we can actively shed and let go of things in our everyday lives that restrict us physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Patanjali talks about this in the Yoga Sutra-s as the practice within yoga of surrendering the struggle. It is known as isvarapranidhana, meaning 'to surrender to a higher power.' It is a practice that requires us to make a sacred shift in our perspective by handing over whatever is blocking or polluting our internal space in order to reunite, align and be open to receive the grace of our aliveness.
In the Yoga Sutra-s this is an essential ongoing practice that Patanjali links to the concept of trust. Having faith in the process of letting go of what is past, showing appreciation and gratitude for what you have and staying open to receive what may come next.
Any action in which we apply the philosophy of isvarapranidhana will progress and enhance our lives. If we can without reservation, give ourselves over in body, mind and heart with faith, we will be freed from the stress, anxiety, self-doubt and our habitual patterns of trying to control every outcome. This is the ultimate practice of peace. Peace comes when we relinquish the idea that we are the “doer” and allow the infinite to guide us on our way. It is time to let go, and let be.