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  • Writer's pictureSavira Gupta

'let go' you say...... easier said than done!

‘Let Go’ two words that pop up in yoga classes, retreats, conversations, meditation practices and in the wellness world. ‘Letting Go’ sounds harmless and to many seems easy to do. Most often we believe we have done exactly that, only to realise that what we are trying to ‘let go’ has not really left us! It finds its way back either with great intensity or it’s taken a different shape.

So how can we truly ‘let go’ of something that no longer serves us, you ask? There is no easy answer nor is there any yoga class that will set you free!

Do we know what it is?

Do we know what it means?

Do we know how it affects to us?

Mull over these questions…. hmm what does you mean and what am I suppose to ‘Let Go’. Brings up confusion, mixed thoughts etc..... not simple as it sounds. These two words are commonly used by the wellness industry and yoga teachers. Yes I am guilt of using it till I realised the value and weight behind these words.

What is it?

It is when inner pressure is released accompanied by a feeling of relief or lightness. A heightened awareness of feeling free and space is created. Something we all have felt but rarely connected it to

‘Letting Go’.

Think of a pressure cooker, when it reaches its maximum pressure it has to release and so when it does… it does with a whistling sound. This lowers the internal pressure of the cooker.

What does it mean?

The more we try to ‘let go’ of something the more difficult it becomes to do. We look for quick fixes or ways to ‘let go. We have become afraid of connecting with our inner feelings because it comes with heavy baggage. We are afraid of connecting with those inner most feelings for fear of what it may do to us emotionally, mentally and physically. The more we look away the deeper these emotions will reside till it fills every available space within.

With each thought an emotion or feeling is attached to it. What creates the internal pressure is the accumulated feelings that is cause by a particular thought. Think of an old uncomfortable experience. Go back in time to that experience. Trace the thoughts that relate to it and then notice the emotions swell up.

How it affects us?

So, when emotions show up, we are either too busy to deal with it/them or afraid of what might come up or of knowing the truth behind those intense emotions. We seem to have found a way of dealing with our emotions.

Suppressing: This is something that many of us do often. Facing unpleasant emotions can bring up fear, doubt or insecurity. Sometimes we do not have the tools to handle these feelings so we either push or put them aside. The more we suppress the more irritable we can become. Our moods may vary and tension will build up in the physical body as a nagging neck pain or back ache. Our sleep pattern will change leading to tiredness.

Venting: When we express emotions verbally, through body language or act it out. We are releasing to create space. Although we have released the pressure, in reality we have not dealt with the issue. We have either dumped those feelings on another or validating our outburst. We may find ourselves balancing between suppressing and avoiding.

Avoiding: Instead of dealing with them we find ways to bypass them. Keeping ourselves so busy that we don’t have to face them. This requires a massive amount of energy on our part, depleting ourselves of any sense of understanding. Spiralling out of control in extreme cases. To avoid a feeling, we may take on habits that can lead to addiction. Creating a further disconnect with our inner awareness.

To 'let go' we need to face the issue honestly and with an open mind. Make the effort to understand what it is that we want to let go, where in our body does it stew and how does it manifest. What sensations or memories are attached to it. What is our attitude and relationship towards that something.

So the next time you hear the words 'let go' .... pause and remember it's easier said than done.

Letting Go
Artwork: Daniel Merriam

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