We all have expectations. We have expectations of others, of life, and of ourselves. We expect each day when we drive home that our home will still be standing. We expect our friends to show up for dinner at the agreed upon time. We expect our boss to write us a check on payday. And most of all we have certain expectations of our physical bodies.

When we make our way to our yoga mats, we expect that we will be able to sit on the floor with ease, and transition through the postures with little to no discomfort. We expect that when we breathe, the breath will flow freely with no glitches. We have expectations that our body will cooperate with whatever we ask of it.

Our expectations bring us a certain level of comfort, and when our expectations are not met we experience a certain level of discomfort. When we begin a yoga practice, we expect that sitting on the floor in seated crossed legged will be a piece of cake, and 10 minutes in we feel something that does not resemble the last piece of delicious cake we consumed. As we move into forward fold we expect our nose to touch our knee and then we realize our nose has not touched our knee since we were children.

Not meeting our physical expectations in our yoga practice can create judgment of our physical body. Instead of praising our legs for carrying us through the world, we judge the fact that our legs did not hold us steady in tree pose. When we are not able to hold plank pose as long as others in our yoga class, we are disappointed in the weakness that we see in our bodies.

This is the place our “work” begins, the work of releasing expectations. By releasing expectations, we release judgment and disappointment. Releasing expectations in our yoga practice allows us to observe our body and notice the way our body moves. Releasing expectations eases our mind, creating more flexibility in body, mind and spirit. Releasing expectations allows us to put down the extra weight of burden that we sometimes carry to our yoga mats.

As we become more comfortable with releasing expectations, we become more comfortable with the person that we are. We are able to release the need to control, and we are able to ease into the subtleness of the body. We can accept every wonderful part and piece that makes up who we are. We can sit with ourselves, our whole and complete self.

Releasing expectations is a graceful step we can take into relaxing the body and mind. Releasing expectations is one of the most beautiful gifts we can give to ourselves. Releasing expectations brings us into acceptance, into peace, and into love. So I encourage you to release expectations before stepping onto your yoga mat, and observe how your body, mind and spirit unfold. And please feel free to share your experience in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.


Carly Burke

Parkway Yoga



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