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Yoga for Acceptance: Letting Go When Things Don’t Go As Planned

It’s always disappointing when plans don’t, well, go as planned. 

Earlier this year, I stumbled upon the most perfect venue for a yoga retreat — a gorgeous, multi-building, historic and charming waterfront property in Melbourne, Florida. The venue can sleep upwards of 20 people, so I decided to dream big and started planning a women’s yoga retreat there this November. I started marketing the event in June, feeling hopeful that “early bird” pricing might help encourage ladies to sign up right away. I had a lot of fun putting together promotional materials, and I’m thankful for my wonderful Kula Yoga family who helped me spread the word about the recharge retreat. I cheerfully announced the event before every class I taught. My dear friend Cindy even helped me design and create a shirt to promote the retreat. The past few months have allowed me the opportunity to find and walk that weird balance of self-promotion within the yoga world. 

I’m trying today to walk another weird balance: one of gratitude for the ladies who have signed up so far for the retreat, and yet also a bit of disappointment that the “dream big” retreat I envisioned isn’t quite turning out the way I had hoped. 

Thankfully, I had an opportunity to roll out my mat and practice alongside my students at VinYin today at Kula. With the theme of “acceptance” on my mind, we enjoyed perhaps a bit of a slower flow today than usual. We leaned into the use of yoga props, beginning in supta baddha konasana by supporting the thighs with blocks, tilting them on their edge for a bit more comfort on the legs. This reclined bound angle pose is one of extraordinary vulnerability, so having the support of the blocks seems to make it a little less scary. While yoga props can be used to support, they can also be used to deepen and release. As we progressed further into our practice, we placed outstretched hands on our blocks at the top of our mat to find an additional shoulder-opening sensation in our child’s pose, balasana. As we reached the end of our practice, we invited our strap along with our blocks for one of my most favorite variations of supported fish pose — matsyasana — using a looped strap around the body and feet to support baddha konasana legs. As we reclined on a lengthwise medium-height block between the shoulder blades (with another block as a pillow), this deep heart- and hip-opening pose seemed to align with the theme of “acceptance” and letting go today. 

I’m reminded today that when I set my intention (inhale), I also must let go of that intention (exhale). In the midst of making all my plans, I forgot to let go. I forgot to exhale. 

Any disappointment about the venue change for the retreat is vastly overshadowed by my excitement that I am still able to host the event in November. The new venue in Indialantic shares many of the qualities that drew me to the original venue in the first place — it’s waterfront, it has a covered area to practice yoga outdoors, and it’s close to home. I am rejoicing that there is now not quite so much pressure to “sell all these tickets” — marketing is hard! Now I get to focus my energy on fine-tuning the sequence of each of the practices, meditations, and workshops for next month. 

During the next several weeks as I continue to plan the retreat, I will remind myself to exhale. 

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