Life is an ongoing stream of events. Some you enjoy; others that cause strain or stress. Yet in order to live vibrantly, you must release the past. You need to let go of trauma or negative emotions — both of which get stored in the body. This yin yoga class guides you through deliberate postures to do just that, giving you the clarity and freedom to embrace an amazing future.
Even golf, which is a fun game to play, can have stressful moments.
At times during a round, you might find yourself hitting an errant shot. You miss the fairway at best, or you hit the ball out of bounds at worst (gaining unwanted strokes in the process).
This can be traumatic. Your mind can get caught up in the struggle to get back on track. Your body can get tense with the stress of the incident. This can lead to more inconsistency of your swing and even more poor shots in your round.
I’ve had this happen and I’ve watched other golfers completely spiral downhill in their game, too.
To avoid this from happening, you’ve got to release the past. You’ve got to let go of the bad shot and refocus back in the moment. I teach this through the PIVOT method.
If you can’t get back into your zone as you’re playing, or after any stressful incident in your day, you can always use yoga postures to help. This yin yoga class does just that. It will walk you through deliberate postures to liberate you from the past and give you capacity to start fresh again.
RELEASE THE PAST BREATH BY BREATH
In the book, The Body Keeps Score, Bessel van der Kolk explores the ways in which trauma literally reshapes the brain and body. Joe Dispenza seconds this with his findings about how body cells memorize thoughts and emotions.
Basically, any negative emotion (no matter how strong in nature) can be stored in your physical tissue. This could be frustration from an argument with a family member. Or it could be horrific pain or fear from a more intense situation, like a car accident or physical abuse.
These memories then become the lens through which you view yourself and others. And if this information remains the programs through which you operate, you stay in survival mode. This means the sympathetic nervous system is dominating and chronic stress ensues. Unfortunately, this leads to greater fear, tension, and distrust.
So how do you release the past?
How do you let go of unwanted information stored in the body?
Be present in the moment on your yoga mat. Focus your attention on sensations of the body without judgment. Deliberately release tension breath by breath as you remain still. And as you assume these yin postures, you create new space in that cellular tissue. In fear’s place, you can restore appreciation. You can bolster self-trust and build a foundation to trust others, too.
The best part is that you don’t have to revisit any of that old trauma for this letting go process to take place.
EMBRACE YOUR AMAZING POTENTIAL
Before we dive into the yin yoga poses to release the past, I want to remind you about something important. When you take something out of your experience, there’s now a void. And you get to decide what you want to put in that space.
That’s where setting an intention comes into play.
It helps to have a clear picture of what you want to experience in your life instead.
- What kind of person do you want to be?
- What elevated emotions do you want to permeate your life experiences?
- Can you imagine what that vibrant future might look like?
Again, keep an attitude of curiosity as you rest on your yoga mat in this practice. You don’t need all of the answers right away. Your open mind will allow the right information to flow to you at the right time. Simply welcome those fresh ideas and be willing to receive new thoughts.
As Brene Brown says in her book Rising Strong,
GET READY TO PRACTICE
Before you start this sequence, I suggest you have the following props on hand:
- A bolster (or a stack of firm blankets/beach towels)
- Two blocks
- Warm layers
The rest of this blog post outlines the asana(s) taken in class. You can also get on your mat and practice with me in the video below.
YIN YOGA POSES TO RELEASE THE PAST
(1) START IN STILLNESS
Begin this practice with a period of deliberate stillness. This amplifies the sensations in the body at the present moment. It also gives you clarity about your current mindset. Notice what thoughts come to mind and your attitude toward your practice. As you breathe consciously here, you transition from the previous experience of your day. You can then enter your yoga practice with more purpose.
(2) RECLINED TREE POSE
The kidney, spleen and the liver meridian have segments that run up the innermost section of the thigh. As you open the groin in this reclined tree pose, you increase the flow of energy in this region. This opens up the doorway to look inward. It also boosts your concentration, stamina, and personal vision.
(3) RECLINED BUTTERFLY
Now that you’ve opened each side of the groin independently, you’ll do so together in this reclined butterfly posture. The best part is that the support of props beneath you will be a real, physical reminder that there are amazing possibilities open for your future as you release the past breath by breath.
(4) TIPSY FROG
Tipsy frog, also known as half frog, is yet another way to open the inner groin region. This can further amplify positive emotions such as satisfaction and gratitude — two great ingredients to fill the void that occurs when trauma is removed from the body. Resting on the elbows here also allows you to open the heart and the act of gravity can help create space in the upper spine and hip region simultaneously.
(5) FULL FROG
Frog is a deep groin opener, which allows lots of prana and qi to move throughout the hip joint. It’s also symmetrical. The best part is that when you have the hips in the same line as the knees, gravity can work its magic to elongate adductor muscles of the hip even more.
(6) RECLINED SHOELACE
This posture releases tension in the low back and elongates the tissue of the outer hip. Since many of the previous poses opened the inner groin, reclined shoelace starts to balance out the body. This physical equilibrium helps release the past (stored in the cellular memory). The spaciousness then provides room for new information to take hold.
(7) RECLINED TWIST
The previous poses started to alleviate low back tension. Now, you can take this openness into a twist that targets more of the spine. One additional benefit of doing this at the wall is that the bottom of your feet have contact with a surface. This can increase your sense of groundedness.
(8) REPEAT 6 & 7 ON THE SECOND SIDE
Restore balance to the body and mind by repeating the reclined shoelace pose and supine twist on the second side.
(9) FINAL RESTING POSE
In this yin practice, you were able to release the past and create new space in the body. Savasana, or the final resting pose, allows you to absorb these changes. In this stillness, you welcome in your amazing future. You become a magnet for the best and highest good to flow to you. Just make sure you are as comfortable as possible. This reminds the body that no strain is necessary to bring your dreams into reality.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
In order to stay healthy, strong, and at the top of your golf game, you need to let go of old mistakes. You need to release the past and create space to start anew. Yoga is a practice that helps you do this. This yin yoga class, in particular, holds poses for longer periods of time so the cells of the body can recalibrate and your mindset can shift from one of fear into one of embracing your potential.