To” hang tough” and “hang in there” are terms used to applaud heroic and idolized behavior. But what about when it takes more strength, more determination and character to let go?
As long as the spirit is willing and the body is of service then knowing what to hang on to and what to let go of is, I guess ,the whole trick. In life it is often very hard to differentiate between the things that are preventing us from progressing and the things that are or could be coming to our aid.
What happens in your body, with your practice when you hold on tight? What happens when you let go? Can you even tell the difference between what you are contracting and what you are releasing?
In order to figure out what to hold onto and what to let go of, we first have to figure out what the heck we are doing. We first need to define a clear goal of what it is we are trying to accomplish. From there pure logic will allow us to judge what we need to let go of and that which we need to hold on to with all our might.
This is not so easy to determine and understand in our emotional lives but when we take it to movement we can see how holding on can sometimes, hold us back.
When executing the roll up the muscle focus of the exercise are the abdominals and more specifically the transverse. In order to create the inward and upward scoop of the abs and achieve spinal mobility throughout the exercise, the hip flexors must first let go. If the very powerful and overworked hip flexor muscles were to fire (sometimes just by habit), the legs will lift and you will struggle to lift your upper body off the ground and maintain the C curve. If you decide to hang on for dear life with those hip flexors, in attempt to power through the exercise, your struggle to get up only increases and ends in defeat. However, if you learn to let go of the hip flexors’ grip and release this engagement, you will be able to recruit the transverse and easily lift your upper body off the ground while the legs remain long and quiet. The transverse engagement will bring you into a fluid and well balanced C curve achieving both spinal mobility and stability. All which could never have been achieved without first “letting go” of the hip flexors.
This physical analogy serves us well in our emotional lives. What might we accomplish if we shut off an overworked, tight and tired emotional muscle and recruit a perhaps smaller, quieter, more appropriate and thereby much more powerful emotional strength? For example, what if we shut off the much over worked, very tight muscle of fear and recruited the hard to access very powerful muscle of faith? What new strength might we gain? What new feats might we accomplish?