Hayley Steadman –

Let The Leaves Fall

Let The Leaves Fall

Some days it can feel like our yoga practice is something quite separate from our life. We take time out to find our space — to sit, to breathe or to move, then we step back into the day. As much as we try to stay in yoga, it can be challenging. But sometimes, there are magical moments, where you see yoga and the teachings so clearly. 

Recently Cyd and I have been on opposite schedules so the other morning we decided to get a coffee and go for a walk. No phones, no work or potential interior discussions. Just being together, for a moment. Something we used to spend so much time doing, but of course, life gets busy. 

As we walked through the streets, admiring the houses and the cute dogs. We took notice of the crisp weather, the colourful leaves and we realised we’d stepped into Autumn. It’s funny how life happens like that, you suddenly realise that another week, month or year has passed by. We get so caught up in planning and doing that we miss being in the moment. 

I was captivated by the leaves. The way they had grown, changed colour and were now dropping away, settling back in to the earth. This beautiful cycle of creation, growth and decay. Understanding this natural cycle of life is one of the greatest lesson we can learn from our practice and there it was. Right there in nature. So simple and clear. 

Every living being, including ourselves is in flux. We are constantly growing and shifting. In every aspect of our being - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. We are always evolving. Deep within us, we know this to be true. We can’t deny this fact of life. But for some reason we resist it. We fear change, we become terrified to let go and to move on. We forget that everything in life is in this continuous cycle. We think that letting go is the end and who knows what that looks like. So we cling to what we feel is safe and familiar. 

Unlike us, the leaves don’t resist. They trust the process. They know to let go when the time is right. They know that the branches will be bare and vulnerable for a while, but eventually and inevitably new growth will happen. They have faith in the natural flow of life.

Practice helps us to see life, and ourselves with more clarity. By bringing attention to our body, our breath, our mind. We start to get a deeper understanding of ourselves — our thoughts, habits and tendencies. Practice can help us to see what we are holding on to, and hopefully, gives us the courage to know when we need to let go. To create the space for new things to grow. So put down your work, spend time with your loved ones, look at leaves and ask yourself what it is you are ready to let go of. 

Reflections

  • Can you notice something/someone that you are holding on to? How does it make you feel?
  • Can you notice what stops you from letting go? How could you overcome this?
  • Do you consider being in nature as part of your practice? Try 10 minutes of walking outside each day, being present with your surroundings and notice how it makes you feel.