The Advanced Yoga Practice for When Things Fall Apart


Crap happens. Things fall apart. Life gets hard.

This is about the advanced, accessible yoga practice that will help you when that happens. Read on…

We make life harder or easier depending on how we think about what’s happening. We can’t change what happened to us, but we can change how it impacts us. The shift from the toxin of “This is terrible” to the cleansing “This is what it is” is relief.

We go from fighting our reality to letting it be what it will be. It will be that, whether we fight it or not. We get to choose whether we have that experience in peace or in turmoil.

On our yoga mat, stuff happens. Our postures fall apart. We get asked to do something difficult. It gets hard.

We make it harder or easier depending on how we think about what’s happening. If we’ve chosen to listen deep, and taking our guidance on what and where to go next from the person at the front of the room, we’re not in charge of changing what happens to us. But we can change how it impacts us.

This shift from “I really don’t like this pose,” or “Why is she getting us to do this?” to the cleansing “This is what is” is relief. We go from fighting our reality to letting it be what it will be. It will be this posture, that flow, this arrangement of arms and legs—whether we fight it or not.

In turmoil, we create an endless loop of stress-inducing thoughts. Thoughts that take what’s happening and make it worse. Much worse. It’s possible to experience things that we’d like to call terrible or awful and just call them life.

Just as it’s possible to experience a yoga posture we’d like to call frustrating and too tough and just call it yoga.

Hang in. Breathe deep.

Don’t run from it. Our yoga practice gets challenging. Things fall apart. It’s what life does.

It changes. It grows. It surprises us. And so do we.

Joseph Campbell said: “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” We’re not meant to stay stagnant. Not meant to hang onto the ways we think life should be.

We’re meant to to unfold, to gently rise up from resistance and angst and into peace. A lotus arcing into bloom.

Lotuses grow in the muck. The messy, changing, layers of mud beneath a body of water. They root down and then steadily press upwards through the lake, rising into bloom when they reach the surface.

Butterflies strain and bite and press against their cocoon until they emerge–with strengthened wings. Ready to fly. Every seed cracks open before the new growth can come out.

This is what the tough things do for us. This is what life does for us. This is what our yoga practice can do for us.

It helps us to emerge from the cages we’ve created. By showing us where we’re holding the bars in front of our own faces. Every time a certainty dissolves–something we held to be true about life–we emerge into a new terrain.

Opening into your fullest self–strength, peace, power–means letting things fall apart.

So you can rise again.



Editor’s note: This was another awesome guest post from Lindsey Lewis–life coach and yoga teacher. Stay up to date with her latest at www.libreliving.comFacebook, and Twitter.  Sign up now to join Lindsey’s Power of Peace Challenge starting on May 1, 2014.


Photo credit: Camillia Lee on Facebook

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