Monday, March 7, 2011

Heart Opening

Today I am 32 and for my birthday I wanted my boyfriend to attend a yoga class. Actually, he is starting an intro series this evening which I felt was meant to be. In the last year I have successfully convinced five people to attend class and I am currently working on three more. I believe.

Often birthdays and new years eve are times of reflection, and/or disappointment for the easily disappointed such as I. However, if I measured the years by my yoga practice then I have accomplished quite a lot. I've often thought of myself as having commitment phobia, but yoga has been with me for five years now. I took it even earlier then that but I hadn't yet formed the addiction.

Several poses have been my nemesis for years. Just the thought, "I can't do this," has stopped me from being able to. It's in the brain. Full wheel, Urdhva dhanurasana, or simply the backbend was something I thought of as an impossibility. One day I had an epiphany in class when I was lying on my stomach and easily lifted my chest and pulled my feet up into the air near my head. It's called bow pose, but isn't just an upside down backbend? If I can do this, surely I can do that.

I took a few workshops hoping that by 2011 I would backbend. One teacher described how a backbend clears the airways to creativity, and opens your heart to love and wisdom. I like that idea whether it's realistic or not. She had given out pamphlets about opening the heart chakra, and said the theme of the class was to relax into expansion. Specifically it said this: "..activating these energy centers allows ecstatic energy to flow into every part of your body. When ecstasy flows, it enhances every aspect of your life; sexual, spiritual, mundane, etc..."

Well, we know that I don't care for the New Agey spirituality stuff, but I liked the way she talked. She made me feel calm and focused and as if everyone in the world wanted this backbend to happen for me. Through a meditative technique I envisioned a rope sitting in my chest that was pulled up from an unknown hand and all of a sudden I could do it. In another workshop I imagined a blanket of warmth coming over my chest and a lightness in the upper back, which simply pulled me right up. I probably knew that I had the arm strength and just needed encouragement. We all come to do things we think we are incapable of sometimes, but the strength is there all along waiting for you to believe in it.

Whatever happens with all my various projects and cities and confusion, at least I know I have reached this goal. There have been several others that I've managed to reach through yoga and there are several yet to come - like the handstand that I am currently working on. It truly gives me a tangible means of success. I am now a 32 year old woman that can do a backbend and that makes me more accomplished, more wise, and more open than I was a year ago.

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