As I mature, the more I realize the value of “holding lightly.” Different from “letting go,” which indicates an effort or an action that often requires more energy than I can muster; holding lightly allows me to simply open my hand (or my heart, or my mind). This tender action creates room for possibility rather than the vacuum often created by pushing something aside.
The crown jewel of the yamas, or moral tenets of yogic philosophy, is that of ahimsa, or non-violence. All other yamas and niyamas find their roots in the soil of ahimsa, since nonviolence informs the ways in which those guidelines manifest. For example, satya, or truth-telling, could easily become a way to kick people when they are down if not applied with a heavy dose of ahimsa through consideration of timing, and whether or not your truthful words need to be said aloud at all.
In my late-night stumblings around the internet, I came across a short documentary about the men who have been to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. For the uninitiated, the Mariana Trench is the deepest point of the ocean- sitting at over 11000 feet deep. To give you an idea of just how deep that is, if Mount Everest was placed at the bottom of the Mariana, the very peak of the mountain would still be submerged by over 2 kilometers of water.
Your yoga teacher or your yogi friends have probably said the words “let it go” hundreds of times. We let go of expectations, let go of spare possessions, let go of our kids (or maybe hold on progressively more loosely) as they become adults in charge of their own lives.