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Death and Rebirth

Spring and the Easter season bring about thoughts of renewal, rebirth, and revival for a lot of us. Scenes of butterflies, buttercups, and blooming flowers seem to be everywhere. But rebirth requires a factor that has a seemingly darker side. Rebirth, literally being "to be born again," also requires a death of some type, doesn't it? Christians talk freely in this Easter season of Jesus' dying on the cross, but can we talk just as comfortably about our own needed death, if we want to transform and be born again?

Is there something we are carrying around right now which would benefit us if we let it go? Perhaps it is not something so obvious as physical clutter, but something more obscure such as an unmet expectation, a pent up emotion, a grudge, or even an unhealthy relationship...and we all have unhealthy relationships! It might not be an unhealthy relationship with another human being, but our own relationship to food, electronics, or even exercise. These considerations are not meant in any way to "shame" anyone, but to offer up a practice to help us stay centered, free of unhealthy ruminations, and add more positivity to our own self-talking.

Yoga is a practice of "letting go" over and over again. When we add the extra depth of an intention to our practice, profound things may happen. If our intention is threaded throughout our practice, we are reminded mentally of our intention as we have small periods of self-reflection or meditation while in a pose. What allows a deeper connection to that intention is if we physically work out an intended purpose for our practice. For example, if we are working through being able to advocate for ourselves, we can physically release any fear if we have that assigned intention in bound angle pose, feeling a deep release in our hips. We can open our throats in upward facing dog, and we can increase our self-confidence in our balance poses, or strengthening the core. In tree pose, we cannot lean forward to the future, or lean back in the past, or we lose our balance. We must stay alert and responsive to the present moment to keep from falling out of the pose. Our physical practice becomes our mental practice, our mental practice becomes our physical practice, and it all becomes our spiritual practice.

So, is there anything we can allow ourselves to be free of in this season of "lightening up?" We can always pick it up again if we like, or if we are not quite ready to let go, but maybe we can explore what it feels like to just let it go for one practice, one movement, one breath. What wondrous things can happen in this season of letting something die, and being reborn?

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