Let It Go Flow

Some people come to yoga for fitness, others for spiritual enlightenment. Erica Rodefer Winters does it to keep her propensity for negative thinking in check.

“You are SO wrong!’


The words came spewing out before I could do anything to stop them. Anger and defensiveness had taken charge as someone questioned my opinion, and I reacted without thinking. It was a bad move. Maybe the person sitting across the table from me was indeed wrong, but in that moment it truly didn’t matter. I had let my emotions take over the conversation and with one poorly chosen comment lost credibility.

I’m not exaggerating when I say I stewed about this for months. I replayed the conversation in my head over and over again. I tried to justify it, but I kept ending up where I started. I knew better! I should have taken a deep breath. I should have gone for a walk. I should have kept my mouth shut!

Some people practice yoga to look better on the beach. Some people practice to get in touch with their spiritual side. I practice because of the above scenario. I am epically, relentlessly critical of myself. I also have a flair for drama that turns every little bobble into a career-ending, everyone-hates-me, heart-pounding, woe-as-me dire situation in my mind. Thank goodness yoga helps me put it all into perspective.

Yoga is the only thing I’ve found that helps me get off the hamster wheel of negative thinking. By getting me out of my head and into my body, yoga helps me to see my mistakes (both big and small) as learning opportunities instead of Shakespearean tragedies. There’s something about falling face first into my yoga mat a million times that has helped me see that if you never fall you never learn to balance. And it’s hard to take everything so seriously when you’re drenched in sweat, twisted up like a pretzel, trying with all your might to stay upright in a somewhat ridiculous contortions.

Yoga has helped me see that we’re all just doing the best we can in this world. It doesn’t matter who’s right and who’s wrong. All that matters is that we treat each other with kindness—starting with ourselves. I try to let everything else go.