Releasing Expectation

image of a lady releasing a bird

When expectations rule our lives, we set ourselves up for disappointment and then we judge ourselves harshly. Aim to release expectations about how you think your life should be and approach life from a place of exploration. That doesn’t mean you can’t set goals for yourself, it’s still okay to have a goal, but just make room for something even greater to occur.

We can also release expectation by re-assessing our thoughts and beliefs. Sometimes a shift in thought or belief helps us to see the situation differently. After re-assessing our thought processing we may realise that we have been acting from a place of fear and negativity and instead of from a place of love and positivity.

Class Intention:to release all expectation… here on the mat and in our lives.
Pranayama Mantra:  Breathe in – acceptance, Breathe out – expectation.
On the mat: what expectations do you have for the class today? What expectations do you have of the teacher today? What expectations do you have in each pose?  Do you expect to perfect it, with little effort or practice? Do you expect to be able to do the advanced version of the pose, even though you struggle in the basic pose? Do you expect to have it all together mentally and emotionally?

In Life: What does the word “expectation” mean to you? Do you have expectations for your- self that don’t really serve your best interests? Are their expectations you put on your- self in relationships, work, and love? Are they realistic? What happens when you don’t fulfil your expectations? Are there expectations you put on others, and why? Are there expectations put upon you by others? If so, how does this make you feel?

Sankalpa Vs Resolution: Sankalpais the practice of conscious intention setting. It is setting an intention rather than a resolution or an expectation. No guilt is attached to it if you have trouble sticking to your intention. There is less pressure to meet you expectation at all costs. A sankalpa takes a more positive approach rather than focusing on what you are doing wrong.

Letting go Visualisation: (laying down on your back in svasana or sutabuttakonasana). Breathe in – acceptance, Breathe out – expectation.
Place your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your belly. Focus on your breath and the rise and fall of your belly with each breath in & out. 
Imagine that inside you lives a little bird; it can look however you wish. What size is your bird, what colour? You have named your little bird ‘Expectation’ & you wish to FREE this bird. So you go to an imaginary window inside of yourself and open it… your little bird ‘Expectation’ flies to the window sill and takes a look at you. You encourage ‘Expectation’ to fly away and be FREE. With a little hesitation ‘Expectation’ now flies out of the window, flying higher and higher towards the clouds, and as it flies higher and higher, you fill lighter and lighter. Now ‘Expectation’ is just a dot on the horizon and you feel light and FREE! 
Article by Martine Ford