LETTING GO IN FRENCH

Okay, this is actually an article about letting go in the French language! The translation for letting go in French is lachez prise. Personally, I find this expression so much stronger than letting go.

If I were to translate lachez prise to English it would go something like this: “Stop holding on to what you are holding on to and let go”.

The expression letting go is already powerful! The two words are often used in meditation. When you sit or lie or move in meditation you are, as best you can, surrendering to the moment. You are letting go of tension in the body. You are letting go of reacting to thoughts coming incessantly at you and you are letting go of wanting things to be different.

Words you say to yourself have real power. For me, when meditating, the expression “no resistance” used to always feel better than “letting go” or “surrender”. When teachers guide in meditation, yoga or other disciplines, I believe it is important to change up the words and expressions that describe the same thing. It gives everyone a chance to hear what works best for them. Your mother tongue will often feel more true and real than a language you have learned later. Strangely enough, English works better for me than Norwegian when I meditate, but when it comes to letting go it has to be in French, haha!

How do you know you are letting go? What is it precisely that you feel in your body when you let go? We may all find it hard to let go. Luckily your body and Being know how to – it happens every time you go to sleep. That said, we have all experienced how, when holding on to challenging thoughts, a difficult emotion or uncomfortable sensations in the body, it is harder to fall asleep.

Back to lachez prise: About six months ago I was lying in bed and could not sleep. I started scanning my body for where I could feel tension. I was already relaxing my arms and legs, my head felt heavy on the pillow, I was relaxing my jaw and my whole body was sinking into the mattress as I let the breath guide me into relaxation. Still I could sense there was something bothering me physically. I suddenly realised there was tension around my spine. A vision of two hands griping around my spine flashed up in my head. It was a real light bulb moment for me. Now that I had seen this I knew what to do next. I allowed “the hands” to gently open and let go of my spine. I noticed how tension left my body. From that day, whenever I feel tension in the body and want to let go, I tell myself to lachez prise, i.e. to stop holding on to what I am holding on to and let go. I visualise hands easing their grip and letting go. And it helps.

My conclusion is: When you want or need to let go, work with the word or expression that gives real meaning to you. It has to feel 100% true. To find receive it, simply sit or lie in stillness, eyes closed, and test out the various letting go expressions till you know the one for you.

Wishing you well! X

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children and live in Wimbledon.