Heart opening poses should be called bullsh!t eliminators.
Really. If you are hiding emotions or bottling up stress and anxiety, I dare you to try Camel Pose. With your chest exposed and hip flexors engaged, powerful feelings can bubble to the surface. The first time it happens it can be overwhelming to suddenly feel a sob or guffaw rise up from nowhere.
Be smart and don’t fight it, I say. There’s nothing quite so cathartic as allowing your emotions to float free during practice. You can embrace what makes you feel good and drop the bullshit. And by bullshit, I mean the stuff that weighs us down – other people’s perceptions, fears, insecurity…
You know, all that negative noise that does nothing good for the spirit.
Leave it. Right there. What doesn’t serve you shouldn’t be on you or in you.
On you like a cheap suit (or yoga bra) getting in the way and not giving you the support you need.
In you like a cramp that makes your shoulders move up to your the sides of your head until your armpits look like door knocker earrings.
On Sunday, I was participated in a heart opening workshop. What an amazing experience. It was empowering to let go of 2012 and clean the slate for 2013.
It was a mix of an invigorating flow woven with heart openers. I liked being reminded that heart openers don’t have to be big like Wheel, that even a strong Mountain Pose or Volcano can expand our chest so light can shine. I know that some people feel the study of chakras is hooey, but I respectfully disagree. I think that we are connected both mind and spirit, flesh and feelings. Moving the body in certain ways can open up stuck energy and help us feel better or make better decisions.
But what I love most about heart openers is their ability to facilitate emotional healing.
No matter what, we always have room to let in love.
This is yoga. This is the beginning of 2013, and I love it.