Whole Living Daily

Did You Forgive? Yoga Off the Mat

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Two weeks ago, we explored the notion of forgiveness. Readers were invited to consider if anyone in their lives, including themselves, needs to be forgiven and, if so, to work toward reconciliation. Whenever we initiate change or establish goals in our lives, the art of following up is invaluable.

What is the art of following up?

It’s the ability to objectively observe what we set out to do and clearly assess our progress. Basically, it’s an honest self check-in about how we did or didn’t follow through. If we manifest our mission, how can our proactive work inform more positive transformation? If we fell shy of our goal, how can we accept our shortcomings, study our emotions, fairly observe the forces that restrict us, and get back on track from here?

Back to the subject of forgiveness, which doesn’t always mandate confrontation, but sometimes just the ability to process and let go.

If you resolved to forgive someone over the past two weeks, objectively ask yourself the following questions:

1. Who was it?

2. Do you feel you’ve forgiven them?

3. If you’ve let go of all resentment, how do you feel now? What was the process needed to forgive?

4. Forgiveness often isn’t automatic. If you’ve moved ahead into the process of forgiving, what do you still have to work through? How can you stay grounded as you continue to move forward?

5. If you are far from forgiving that person (or yourself), do you know why? How do you feel about the inability to reconcile at this point? What can you do today to move toward eventual resolution?

Note: Following up about anything can require courage, as the results won’t always be “ideal.” Please don’t be too hard on yourself when you fall short of your intentions or expectations. Failure offers invaluable and empowering lessons, though it sometimes requires a little training to most readily receive.

Yoga brings stability and calm into every discipline of Sophie Herbert's life. She is an alignment focused yoga teacher (and perpetual student) and a Whole Living contributing editor. She graduated from the Cooper Union School of Art, where she nurtured her passion for documentary photography. It was during this time that she began her disciplined and diverse study of yoga in New York, Paris, and India.

Sophie has lived, studied, and volunteered extensively in India. She feels grateful to still visit and work regularly with the Deenabandhu Children's Home in Chamarajanagar, Karnataka. In November of 2010, she became an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back www.yogagivesback.org, a grass-roots nonprofit that helps destitute women and girls in India build more sustainable lives. Sophie has also shared her knowledge of yoga at the Prana Yoga Center in Astana, Kazakhstan. Currently, she teaches at the Park Slope Yoga Center www.parkslopeyoga.com in Brooklyn and privately. Sophie is also an avid cook.

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Comments (2)

  • How does one forgive someone who continually offends and makes no effort to change?

  • Sarah I have struggled with this for so long with an ex of mine, and in the end it’s about how we want to feel moving forward. We cannot make someone else be any different than they want to be despite how much we want them to change. If they are not willing to love themselves enough to make the change on their own, they certainly won’t be able to do it for us. I've learned this lesson the hard way through tremendous heartbreak and many tears. Coming out on the other side, the forgiveness comes from me keeping them in a loving place in my heart and sending them love and light every time I think about them. I am choosing to be in a different place for myself and not to surround myself with the offensive and mean side of the person I loved more than anything. It sounds like the person you are speaking about needs to grow first before they can move forward. Best of luck to you, and always remember to be gentle with yourself.

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