“Put down what isn’t yours to carry”
These words spoken by Cat Kabira, our teacher, shot through my ears as I lay in preparation for the first practice of my biodynamic yin yoga immersion this past weekend.
If you’re unfamiliar with yin yoga, it’s a slower paced practice that requires you hold floor-based poses from 45 seconds to 2 minutes (and sometimes longer depending on the class): enabling the body to settle into the intricate web of connective tissues which provides increased flexibility and circulation throughout the body. But even more beneficial, this practice enables students to really sit with themselves and actually FEEL; allowing sensations to arise and learning how to be OKAY in the midst of all the discomfort.
To sum it up: it’s tough work as you may find yourself dealing with some repressed emotions about previous experiences that have been lodged in the body for a long time.
And it’s always the things that you don’t necessarily love doing that your body really needs, which is exactly why I signed up for this immersion.
I am used to my fiery vinyasa practice. I was trained in athletic power yoga. I love it and don’t know what I’d do without it.
But my inner being had been calling for something less lately.
Something calmer: where I don’t have to work as hard.
A space where I can be okay with doing nothing.
Hearing Cat invite us to “put down what isn’t yours to carry” triggered something in me on that first night of training.
It made me scan my life as it is right now and think about all of the responsibilities I’ve been toting with me that don’t even belong to me.
As an empath, I often care way too much about things, situations and people.
I tend to take on other people’s issues as my own: wanting to help them fix themselves and feeling exhausted if they can’t just “change.”
I’ve often taken the way someone has treated me and attached it to my self worth.
I’ve even ruminated and obsessed over situations and made them out to be bigger deals than they really are.
Caring too much and taking on baggage that isn’t yours is a very taxing life to live.
Late last year, I opened up online about how I needed to set healthier boundaries when it comes to my professional and personal life. I started reading the popular books on boundaries, and I wrote out my 2018 intentions on how to stick to the boundaries I created.
Hearing Cat speak those words though, was that final layer of permission I needed to “give back to the earth what isn’t mine”, and it felt so refreshing.
If you’re reading this, I hope that this year you too find a healthy way to detach from other people’s issues and situations. And I hope you truly believe that there’s nothing wrong with setting boundaries for yourself with how much you “help” someone else.
The word “No.” is a complete sentence and doesn’t require any further explanation.