It was a cold, wet, sleety November evening – the kind of early winter evening when it’s best to just stay indoors next to a warm fire. But I hadn’t been outside in days, and I needed a night of yoga to limber up and coax myself out of a gloomy mood.
I was new to yoga. I had taken my first class only 2 weeks prior, because I heard “it was supposed to be good for you”. To be honest, at this point, I really didn’t understand what the big deal was with yoga (yet). I spent most of my mental energy focused on how ridiculously stupid I felt and wallowing in my emotional misery that I was hoping yoga could make me forget.
And then it happened!
My first real Brain Reboot! Of course, I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time. All I knew was that suddenly I felt relief – Relief from a pain I had been carrying around my whole life without even recognizing it was there.
The instructor took us from a downward facing dog pose into child’s pose If you never done yoga, child’s pose is where you curl up on the floor with your knees under you and your forehead to the floor. It’s a pose of total surrender.
As the yoga teacher was moving us into child’s pose, she innocently asked “What can you let go of tonight? “.
With a rush of emotion and a flood of warm over my body, my answer was instantaneous and complete – “ Perfectionism! I want to let go of perfectionism!”
And in that instance… I did it!
Like a hot flash – crashing from my forehead down over my face and neck and down my body – the wave of heat was the only signal that my brain was being rewired.
Without knowing what I was doing, I let go of the resistance. And as the resistance melted, so did the brain cramp inside that was holding me hostage to a standard of perfection I knew I could never meet.
Suddenly, it no longer mattered how silly I looked on my yoga mat. I didn’t care that I was 20 pounds over weight wearing old ratty sweats. I didn’t care if I couldn’t breathe without gasping, or that I couldn’t touch my toes, or that I didn’t know what a corpse pose was.
All I knew in that moment was that something significant – something that I was never aware of happening before – was taking place.
Luckily – and frankly because I was in a yoga class where you’re supposed to look calm and relaxed – I was able to just relax into the moment, allowing the heat wave to crash over me. I was releasing years of pent up anxiety and tension in my body. It felt simple, and yet profound. Uncomfortable and yet comforting at the same time. Part of me was hyper aware of the warmth rushing over me, like an embarrassing moment, and another part of my brain was totally in diagnostic mode, detailing every thought, every emotion coursing through me, trying to understand and psycho-analyze what was happening.
I left yoga that night with no clearer understanding of what just occurred. But I felt light and free for the first time in many, many years.
I now understand what happened in that moment. I rebooted my brain. I recognized a pattern I wanted to change and exercised my choice in the present moment to release and let go of old programming that no longer served me. It happened spontaneously, after many years of fruitless yet deliberate efforts to shift.
Now, I can do that effortlessly every time I’m aware of these patterns. And I have exercises I can use to help bring those patterns to the surface so I can release them when I recognize that something is holding me back.
Some memories, even if they last only seconds are forever burned in your brain and you can recall them like they just happened yesterday. I understand now why this was so impactful for me. First, it was because it was the beginning of my journey to total emotional wellness. And secondly, because this has become my life’s mission.
I would love to hear if you had a similar experience, and how you Rebooted Your Brain. Won’t you share in the comments section below so we can all learn from each other?