We associate the end of the year with gratitude and contemplation, going over the 365 days that has passed to pick through our successes and failures. While it’s perfectly healthy to evaluate to evolve, sometimes we equate result with effort.

For some it might come naturally to loosen the tight reign we insist on having on every aspect of life, for some it’s a learning process.

If you are of the latter, you’ll enjoy meeting the wonderful Loly Rehder, a teacher of different styles of yoga including Vinyasa, Therapeutic, and Yin Yoga who has some insight on letting go of control for our latest #FromWomentoWomen series.

Loly first practiced yoga was when she was twelve, an introduction she attributed to her surfer father who looked to yoga to help her family find balance and flexibility. Yoga didn’t come naturally for Loly, who only found joy in it during her university years when she looked for way to find peace and to replace her connection with the ocean.

Her journey into yoga was her starting point of a lifelong lesson in letting go of control.

Loily Rehder wears organic activewear from sustainable yoga brand Isabelle Moon. Loly discovered how to be with herself through Yin Yoga. She’s staying through the discomfort and learning about surrender.

“I remember the first time I went to a Yin Yoga class I did not enjoy it. This was back when I was fully into a Vinyasa practice and Yin Yoga did not make sense to me.” She struggled to understand the slow movements and the softness of Yin Yoga. “I only started to enjoy it when Vinyasa felt like too much some days and my body craved something slower. I started appreciating the space in the poses that allowed me to go deeper.”

Loly discovered the importance of letting go during her first plant medicine ceremony in the Andes, in her home, Peru.

“The lesson was simple, I realized control comes from fear. A fear that comes from failing to trust, a fear that I didn’t know I had.”

She says. She learned to recognize and identify the things that she was holding on, and she learned to understand the need to control a little deeper.

“Ask yourself why? Why are you not able to let go? What are you afraid of? Is there a story behind the attachment that you are not ready to identify?”

Loly Rehder in sustainable yoga bodysuit from Isabelle Moon.

Loly recommends journaling as a tool for contemplation, to understand impulses for control. “Grab a pen and paper and start writing without thinking too much. You’ll be surprised.”

Figuring out what control personally means is a way of understanding its place in our lives. Exerting control or thinking that we have complete control is a way for us to feel safe. Getting a better grasp of our own self is a part of the yoga workshops that Loly does. “I have 2 retreats coming up early 2022 in the Andes of Peru where I will be sharing Yin Yoga and Meditation practices and sometimes also include plant medicine ceremonies. They are all about remembering who we really are.”

Her path into yoga has been one that was not fully expected. “Like a river with branches, it found its way into every aspect of my life and influenced my priorities and interests, how I see life, the way I act, and even what I think.” It’s become one of the ways that Loly practiced surrender.

Loly Rehder in sustainable yoga bodysuit Isabelle Moon.Loly revels in the space, stillness, and silence needed to sit with resistance and soften the grip of control through Yin Yoga and meditation, wearing Pure Grace Bodysuit in Desert Dune.

Yoga has also brought friendships and happy memories for Loly, whose happiest memories involve walking through the jungle in Costa Rica at a yoga retreat and feeling a profound love for life in the moment. ”I was surrounded by yogis, practicing yoga all day every day for a month, surfing and living in a tiny beach shack. I didn’t know where I would go from there, but I knew I was at a big turning point in my life. Everyone I met at that training, friends, and teachers, played a big part in my love story with yoga and for that I am forever grateful.”

Loly recommends listening to Cuatro Vientos by Danit to dance to, to let loose for the moment. “It’s about the wind, which always reminds me to let go, and flying, you can’t fly if you’re carrying too much weight.” But if you’re looking for a more weighted practice on letting go of control, you can check out what Loly’s doing on her website or you can also connect with her on Instagram.

Like most things in life, control can be beneficial in moderation. Where do you stand in the face of control? Do you feel like you have a good grasp of its place in your life, or do you feel like you need to learn to let go?

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