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“Doing The Work”

By January 3, 2019 One Comment

As yoga practitioners, we are often reminded to “do the work”. This extends far beyond getting yourself to stretch on a mat, and quite simply means, get use to letting go…..


Let go of your life being mapped like you were taught, that you could project what and where you would like to be even in the near future. Let go of grasping to people whom you love, and have opened yourself up to feeling raw and attached. Let go too of needing them to be near you at all. Let go of the expectations you have of yourself, in fact, get to know those expectation quite well, they will try and run your life on more than a few occasions. In short, “doing the work” can ultimately sign you up for some serious discomfort. All those years of learning yourself, are essential, but now over, and probably best to burn the reference books. Those stories and times and lessons that were once your beacons of reference, can strangle and choke what is trying to make way into your life NOW.

When we “do the work”, it often feels like staying in discomfort when you really aren’t sure why. To learn to breath and in those moments of simplicity, and realize you have been rushing. You have been rushing your whole life towards something that you aren’t even sure will work out. But “doing the work” doesn’t just leave us sitting in the NOW, which is a great task unto itself. We can not live simply in the NOW with no thought of the future or past if it leaves us in constant surprise or repeating the same lesson.

To do the work is to learn, like a chain of events, that each step must take you forward, but not without letting the last one go. You must erase that last step. You cannot free yourself of what’s to come when you are half turned to make sure that last step really happened. To do the work is to bring all of you, in any moment to each event. “Those” conversations. Those moments were you feel defeated and limp. Tattered or weary. Do the work in those moments. Don’t simply embrace the moments when the clouds part and the earth reminds us we are human. Standing where we are on this great big earth, in exactly the right spot to witness this unfolding beauty. We are just as lucky to find ourselves stuck, having to do the work.

Without the work of digging deep and relearning who we are invited to be today, we are recycling an outdated version of who we once thought we should be (Karma). But we are here to grow. Our bodies reflect it, our planet demands it, our minds and life goals reflect it, so why wouldn’t our desire to do this work? There will be resistance. Again, the impatience. The foot stomping, fist squeezing, bitter lip biting that often ensues when we are told something we don’t like. But again. We are here to do the work.


Author Nathalie

Nathalie Saunderson has spent over a decade exploring the world of yoga and teaching classes and retreats in the Vancouver area. With a background in the classical Hatha, Ashtanga and Iyengar traditions, she offers her insights from this journey, to further inspire the deep spiritual inquiry that arises from practice.

More posts by Nathalie

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