7 Great Reasons to Practice Let It Go Yoga on Your Own
“The true gains in Let It Go Yoga are found in a personal practice.”
These were the words that Hal Meyers, my first yoga teacher, told all of his students at the end of every class. That was 32 years ago and I have been practicing yoga both in the classroom and on my own ever since.
I heard the message after many classes but it took me a while to really hear it. Hal would say “just lie down, put your body on the floor and see what shows up”. Eventually, I decided to try it, to see if practicing yoga on my own would be even more beneficial than in a class.
At the time, I lived in a very small apartment in Newport Beach. I had enough room on my living room floor if I pushed a few pieces of furniture aside. I laid out my yoga mat and after a few hours of walking over it back and forth, I finally laid down to see what would happen! I didn’t think I knew what to do so I had a written list of Let It Go Yoga poses that I could keep nearby as a reference. I knew it started with Savasana – the corpse pose, so, that was were I began. Lying on the floor, with my feet splayed apart and arms resting by my sides with the palms facing upward, I began the diaphragmatic breathing. As my breath became fuller, I began to move into the first pose and began my first practice of Let It Go Yoga on my own. I was surprised to find that I did know the series, that my body knew just what to do! I didn’t have to think about it or look at my notes at all. I had had a personal practice inside of me all along!
That was the real start of my Let It Go Yoga journey. Having a personal practice, just being with myself, lying on floor and being open to just see what shows up, has changed my life in truly profound ways. It is the very reason I have practiced and taught yoga for over 30 years! Each time I practice on my own, I go deeper inside of myself. My breathing slows down and I become more calm. I have learned to get out of my head, unplug from my daily life, recharge my batteries and just be with myself without judgement.
I still enjoy going to a class. I enjoy the the energy of the group and having yoga teachers give me new poses to practice or new thoughts to contemplate. But having a personal practice not only keeps my body flexible and healthy, when I can’t get to class, it also gives me time to go inside and acknowledge myself. To have time just for myself. A time to fill myself up with joy and gratitude.To plug in positive thoughts and release any negativity, frustrations, worries and judgements. There is always something to let go of!
When I calm down and take the time to go inward, I always find that just beneath the surface lies a wonderful inner teacher and that she always knows exactly what I need and gives me some pretty darn good advice.
And all I have to do is show up and put my body on floor!
Here are 7 more reasons to learn this amazing practice:
1 It’s easy to learn.
Let It Go Yoga is a series of poses that are practiced lying down and linked together with the breath. There are 26 poses total. First you work the right side of the body and then the left, then bring it all together with the finishing poses and final relaxation. Simple enough!
2 Let It Go Yoga suits your individual needs.
You can make your practice as challenging or relaxing as you need that day. Holding the postures gives you time to explore your edges (the place where you are feeling a heightened sensation in the pose), and you can increase or decrease the intensity of the pose to suit your needs.
3 Repeating the practice is key.
When you become familiar with the postures, you are more able to see and feel the benefits. Every day is different, and you will begin to notice the subtle changes as layers of tension begin to release. You will also be able to get into a meditative state because you know what pose is coming next.
4 Develop a mind-body connection.
You will learn to use your mind as a tool for “letting go” of tight muscles and tensions stored in the body. The Let It Go Yoga poses have an uncanny way of finding where we are holding tension. You can learn to breathe and send yourself messages of relaxation that your body will respond to. Your mind will become your greatest healing too – you can encourage yourself to relax and let go. It works!
5 Learn to be in the present moment.
The practice encourages you to “get out of your head”, to let go of the intellectual thought process for a little while. To unplug, so to speak. The practice of quieting the mind also gives you time to explore your thoughts, feelings and emotions. You can discover old beliefs and patterns that no longer serve you. This will give you insight to help you to make positive changes in your daily life.
6 Be gentle with yourself.
We can all learn to accept ourselves and our changing bodies a little more and learn to surrender and allow. When you are holding a yoga posture, you are controlling your body, and Let It Go Yoga shows you how to be gentle with yourself in the pose. As you relax and release tension, that is not needed, you are learning the power of surrender.
7 Let It Go Yoga is sustainable.
If you can lie down, you can do this. The practice is not easy but it is gentle. If you need to get into better shape or just need to unplug and recharge, it can give you what you need. Sometimes, I just need to lay down, breathe deeply and visit my old friend…myself!
I hope I have inspired you to learn more about Let It Go Yoga.
On May 22, Jim and I are just releasing our first online course:
Introduction To Let It Go Yoga – a Personal Yoga Practice for Health and Well-Being. It has been a year in the making and has the Let It Go Yoga class and our best tools for letting it go on and off the yoga mat.
It could be the start of a transformational journey for you!
Sue Anne Parsons