The Crocodile – or the art of letting go.

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Letting go doesn’t come naturally to me.

When I started yoga, I was probably the only person in the class who didn’t look forward to the relaxation. As far as I was concerned, I came to my yoga classes to get toned and stretched… and to relax as well, but somehow I didn’t see the point of the relaxation. It was a waste of my time. For me, relaxing in yoga meant concentrating enough on the poses and sequences that I wouldn’t think of what bothered me outside of the yoga studio.

It took a long time for me to start enjoying the relaxation and even longer to really let go.

The first time I truly let go wasn’t during a relaxation. It wasn’t even during a yoga class. It was after a funeral. I was back home and I laid down on my mat in Makrasana, the Crocodile. Forehead resting on my hands, legs stretched out and heels rolled in. For the first time, through exhaustion and stress, I truly let my body go. I didn’t hold on to my muscles anymore to keep the pose, I just let go. I let my legs sink into the floor, my abdomen, chest and forehead rested heavily on the mat. And as I completely let go, I felt totally supported by the ground beneath me. I wasn’t holding on anymore and yet I felt stronger and more stable than ever before.

Since that day, Makrasana is my go-to pose when I need to relax and to let go of anything that is bothering or upsetting me. I lay down on my mat, legs out and forehead on my hands and I really, consciously let go. I completely relax the muscles of my legs, buttocks and arms. I breathe deeply, letting my abdomen expand against the mat. I consciously relax my shoulders and my face and I just rest on my mat, completely and consciously relaxed. I stay there for a few minutes or longer, depending on how I feel and I just let go. Sometimes I don’t know what I am letting go off but I just focus on breathing out and letting go.

At the end of the exercise, I come out of Makrasana into the Child pose and I feel happier, more grounded and relaxed.

So why don’t you give it a try next time you feel your mind or your heart twisting around something that is bothering you, refusing to let go and move on. Take a few moments for you, lying down on your front, feet as wide as comfortable with the heels rolling in. Place your hands on top of each other in front of you and rest your forehead on your hands. And just breathe, follow your breath in and out, conscious of letting go of any tension in your muscles.

When you feel ready to come out, stretch back into Child pose for a few moments before coming back to sitting. Enjoy the new found peace in your mind that is coming from letting go.

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