The songs on this playlist encourage forgiveness and keeping your eyes open: both the physical eyes and the eyes of the soul. Through practicing yoga to these songs, I’ve discovered that during this winter season there are things I want to let go of, things I want to mend, and things into which I want to step.
A month ago I visited my Yogaville family up at Swami Satchidananda’s ashram in Virginia. Only a little over a year ago, I was packing up my bags and saying goodbye, after having spent a few months living there. I left feeling better than I did when I arrived, but when I was packing I had this heaviness in my heart because I still had a lot of unanswered questions. The mantra I took on during that uncertainty was “I don’t know and it’s okay to not know.”
When I got back home, people would ask, “What now?” and I would respond, “I don’t know and it’s okay to not know.” “You need to find a ‘real’ job,” they’d say. My answer remained, “I don’t know and it’s okay to not know.” However, rather than feeling my response was my mantra as I’d intented, it became more of a forced script. Instead of finding peace in the words, I beat myself up.
On this most recent visit to Yogaville, I came to the realization that I’ve continued to be harsh on myself throughout the year…even after many of the unanswered questions became answers throughout the year. While meditating at the LOTUS, Light of Truth Universal Shrine, it dawned on me that I need to be kinder, gentler with myself. I needed to stop fighting myself.
Have you ever noticed that your judgment of yourself is the harshest? Have you ever noticed that you are comparing yourself to either past versions of yourself or challenging yourself to unknown future versions of yourself that are mere projections?
Had I not sat down and spent some time listening to myself, I don’t know if I would have noticed that my lack of self acceptance had kept me in a year long, tormenting battle…A battle where the antagonist and protagonist were one and the same…Me. I realized that, throughout my search for answers, I had become my worst enemy.
Out of this realization came this playlist. Endless rounds of sun salutations have been practiced on my mat listening to these songs. I am reminded to use this winter season as a moment for hibernation. I can either come out of the longer, darker nights well rested and eager, or I can force my light brightly until it’s burnt out. Practicing to these songs reminds me that I can forgive myself and let go of the anger that I was holding against myself for ever having gotten to a place of not knowing. The songs remind me that I can celebrate the things and people I have lost because they brought me to where I am now. They encourage me to open up to the spaces within me where there is room for growth.
In what way do you hibernate for reflection this winter? What can you let go of in order to better accept who you are? Where in your life can you forgive yourself? Where can you forgive others? Dive into the darkness and stillness of winter to awaken…with eyes AND heart wide.
photo cred: Jonathan Grado
Gypsy soul, Kelynn Giorno, has been blessed to call many places home, but currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her beloved pup, Anika. Career-wise, Kelynn is program analyst by day, yoga teacher and writer by night. Her lifelong passion for music has landed her the role of “Resident Mixologist” for GatherYoga. Check out her bi-monthly articles, complete with playlists, to infuse your yoga practice with tunes guaranteed to open your mind and speak to your heart!
~Love this article? Want to read more and learn how to support Gather and our incredible community? Join the family by signing up for our newsletter HERE!
~WE HEART LOCAL TEACHERS. See how you can support your favorite local teacher HERE.
~Want to write for us? We are looking for contributors with unique voice and original story. If authentic presence is your jam, contact us: