— Life —

Let Go or Be Dragged

pin it

For going on two decades, yoga as been not only my work-out but also my work-in. There was a moment many years ago, having suffered through an insufferable and idiotic sermon at church, that I subsequently went to yoga class and was awestruck by the soothing words, calm message, and universal thinking that accompanied the ancient practice. From that point on, the yoga shala has been the place I turn to for physical and emotional development and healing. That’s not to say that all yoga practices are – our should be – spiritual in form or delivery, but I think that many practiced yogis find a strong connection with what is going on in their head and their hearts manifested in their physical asana practice.

For some people, church or temple is their sanctuary. For others it’s drugs or alcohol. For me, when the going gets tough, I go to yoga.

One morning this past week the message in class was “Let go or be dragged.” Now this is open to interpretation, and 100 different people could get 100 different meanings from that statement, but for me, it resonated with an email I had received the previous night regarding a transaction with which I am grappling. On the way to practice I was ruminating about why I am so stubborn regarding this particular situation when it truthfully does not serve me any more. I experience a logistical disconnect when I think about ways to approach and handle it, and for someone who prides herself on being practical, stoic, and pragmatic, I find myself turning into an emotional blob whenever I have to take real action.

So there I was, working through my shit, holding postures, sweating, feeling a connection between my discomfort thinking through the situation and my inability to balance in a pose, when the teacher said “Let go or be dragged.” It was like the universe was shouting at me. The phrase was repeated several times over the duration of class, and each time there was a slight twist on the expression and interpretation of the phrase, but it kept coming back to me that I had to let go of a lot of things, including this particular problem.

In shavasana, the resting portion of class, I dozed off a bit and had a dream-like conversation with my mother, as if she too had to get in on the universal silent scream that had taken over my head. After our final Oms my friend Bonnie, who had accompanied me to class, turned to me and we exchanged a look that said “wow, that was intense.”

Indeed it was. And I suppose it is no coincidence that the next day I received an email requesting a meeting to discuss options to seek resolution that will be beneficial to all.


  • 1010 Park Place April 27, 2016 at 4:30 am

    Let go or be dragged… What is it about letting go, that for most of us, is the equivalent of brain surgery? In reality, the act of moving forward is akin to cleaning out our closets: In order to make room for new clothes, we must get rid of those we no longer wear, or no longer serve us well as the women we are becoming. Brilliant post, Sara! I’m sitting here in the French countryside, having let go of just about everything except the here and the now. This is the first time I’ve logged onto the internet, and I’m so happy I was met with this fun, insightful post. Thank you, sweet lady! xoxox, Brenda

    • esrcornell May 12, 2016 at 11:30 am

      I can’t imagine a better place to let go of EVERYTHING than the French countryside! I seem to be much better at letting go of emotional baggage than cleaning out my closet… perhaps that’s next on the list… after a shopping trip to Paris…?

  • Pam@over50feeling40 April 27, 2016 at 4:50 am

    Enjoyed the read…maybe someday I will finally give yoga a try!

    • esrcornell May 11, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed this, and by all means do try yoga. It has certainly been a great resource for me, both physically and mentally.

  • Alana Mautone April 27, 2016 at 5:18 am

    I’ve been thinking of yoga due to back problems. I keep forgetting there is a spiritual side, too, with some of the instructions. I am still thinking about it, despite encouragement.

    • esrcornell May 11, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      Add my name to the list of those who would encourage you! Yoga has truly saved me – on many many levels… and it all started with a back injury!

  • Leanne@crestingthehill April 27, 2016 at 6:26 am

    those who practice yoga all seem to love it (for various reasons) it is something I am going to have to try – when I find a class somewhere in my general vicinity!

    • esrcornell May 11, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      I hope you find a class you enjoy. There are many styles and many options to suit, so if the first class isn;t to your liking I’d encourage you to keep looking. Gaia.com also offers wonderful online instruction…

  • Shari Eberts April 27, 2016 at 7:28 am

    I love yoga and try to practice 4-5 times per week. I am glad it is helpful to you on many levels. And what a great phrase — let go or be dragged. So true.

    • esrcornell May 11, 2016 at 5:31 pm


  • Laura Ehlers April 27, 2016 at 7:29 am

    It always surprises me how mind refreshing yoga is. Best wishes for your meeting!

    • esrcornell May 11, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      Thank you! I always leave practice glad that I went…

  • Susan in the Boonies April 27, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Timely post for me. I took my first yoga class last week, on the beach. Had a deeply spiritual experience in it.
    “Let go or be dragged” reminds me of when I was in high school, riding a pony, bareback, for the first time. The horse was heading for the barn, (scratch that – galloping for the barn) and I was an inexperienced rider, who began a kind of slow-motion descent from a rapidly moving pony. I slowly slipped to the side, perpendicular to the horse! And then, I …almost gently….hit the deep mud in the paddock. And the pony kept running! And I kept moving, too: realizing, as the mud began to cake and gather on my body, that I needed to let go of the reins, or I would become a human mudball. It helped that somewhere outside my thudding pulse, that I could faintly hear my friends screaming at me in the distance: “Let go!!! Let GO!!!!!”.
    I let go, and toddled over to the fence, completely covered on one side in 2″ of mud. I rested my elbow casually on the fence. And then sank to my knees, passing out while being propped up by the paddock fence.
    Not like it was traumatic, or anything.
    All that to say…”Let go, before you become a human mudball, passed out on your knees yet propped up by the fence” is also good advice.

    • esrcornell May 12, 2016 at 11:27 am

      Great story! Let go or be dragged indeed…!

  • Rena April 27, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Let go or be dragged, this really resonates with me. Sometimes letting go of something is better for you then holding on.

  • Esther Zimmer April 27, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I’m terrible at letting go. I can let go of things and stuff, but I’m not very good at letting go of emotions, or people or projects – even when I know I should. Even when I know I’ll be in a much better place once I do. I know I’m not alone, but I wonder why this is? Especially when the moment comes and I finally do let go, I feel so much better for it and wonder why I didn’t do so earlier! Such a wonderful post, thank you! Esther xx

    • esrcornell May 12, 2016 at 11:34 am

      I’m much better at letting go of emotions than stuff. I need to clean out closets and boxes and storage bins and… the list goes on. The irony is all the memories/emotions that are stored in the stuff… a viscous circle… maybe that’s why I escape to my yoga mat… and yes, I chose the word ESCAPE intentionally…!

  • Susan Tolles April 27, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Beautiful post! Too many of us are afraid of letting go, so we go through life being dragged by a miserable career, toxic relationships or memories of the past. It is in letting go of the rope that we find freedom to soar on our own. I’m right in the middle of that process now, and your words are so encouraging.

    • esrcornell May 12, 2016 at 11:36 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I have to practice letting go every day… and I still hold on to too much. But you’re right, the moments of soaring are amazing…

  • Jen Lawrence April 27, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Gorgeous post. I love that: let go or be dragged. I learn a lot on the mat and will make this a focus on my next practice. xo

  • Holly April 29, 2016 at 7:34 am

    two lessons -one-i must let go of my “bad knee” excuse and return to my yoga practice. two-confirmation that my instincts to let go of a toxic friendship are correct. i have been skinning my knees on her lecturing and scolding for too long. i am letting go of the rope that ties the two of us together. there, i may have solved both problems at once! hope your meeting goes well! xx-hb

    • esrcornell May 12, 2016 at 11:31 am

      Toxic friendships are so…well, toxic! I hope you’re finding peace and clarity through letting go…

  • 1010 Park Place April 30, 2016 at 1:21 am

    Your yoga pose is hard enough, much less in heels and a dress! Brava, my dear Sara! xoxox, Brenda

  • You Might Also Like


    Sign up to our list and we’ll send you our sought-after guide “45 Ways To Change Your Life”
    I'm happy you've joined us! If you like what you read, I'd love for you to stay and subscribe to our updates by email. We have a great community of like-minded women, and your presence can only make it stronger.