Heart, Inspiration

Surrender to Gravity


I spent some time on the mat this morning doing a yoga video, with all the good that brings. To be honest though, it’s hard for me to take the initiative and make the time for yoga until I’m trying to “fix” something — in this case just some lower body stiffness worse than my normal stiffness.

Of course, it was wonderful, and as I melted into a “Supta Baddha Konasana” (Reclined Bound Angle) something the teacher said struck me.

“Surrender to Gravity.”

I let go a little more, then began to wonder.

Why?

Surrender means giving something up to the power or authority of someone or something else. When you put it that way, no wonder it’s hard to do.

But to gravity? Really? I mean, it’s always been there, it’s always working. There’s no reason to question its power. Beyond a few bumps and bruises, it has never really hurt me. Plus, it has never let me fall further than the ground. Really, I’ve been supported by it my whole life… it’s probably trustworthy.

Yet I’ve been subtly battling gravity for a long time.

I’ve gained a lot of body awareness over the past decade. The chronic stiffness in my hips is related to holding tension there, essentially grabbing and pulling from within. Particularly tense situations tended to result in a hard left hip hike. It’s a pattern of mistrusting gravity. I have this feeling that when the going gets tough, I need to hold myself up, because no one else will.

But gravity will hold me up. Even if I fall. Gravity will be there to support my butt as I land on it. It will be there while I sit, until I can get back up.

No Matter How High

I know, you might be thinking… if I surrender to gravity from high enough, I won’t be getting back up. True enough. But if that happens and I enter a contest my body can’t win, do I want to go down fighting or surrendering?

I had a wonderful dream a few months ago where I fell over a landing and down a few flights of stairs. (Yes, you read that right. Wonderful.) As I was falling I thought, “Just let go,” and proceeded to unlock all the tensions in my body. I don’t remember an impact, but the next thing I knew, I had rejoined the people I was with before the fall and was shrugging off their concern, saying, “I’m fine. It didn’t hurt”

I know this doesn’t need to be taken literally, but it reminds me: “Surrender and you will be OK.”

Surrender Everywhere

I have a lot more to surrender to than gravity. I’m guessing you are the same. And isn’t it funny, if someone asked us about surrender, we would answer with the bigger stuff. Gravity probably wouldn’t make the list.

This is human nature with problems (spiritual or otherwise). We want to tackle the biggest, gnarliest ones. We notice them most.

But these are often the hardest to work through. In this case, the hardest things to surrender over.

So I’m going to be open to gravity’s lesson here. I’m going to do my best to surrender something I have no need to hold on to — physical tension — to a force that is powerful, trustworthy, and ever-present — gravity. It will probably be a practice, but luckily, gravity is there any time I want to call on it. And as I build trust in the process of surrender, I hope I can let go. And let go. And let go. And…