Open Heart Surgery, Yoga style


There’s some gnarly stuff going on with some people in my life.  It doesn’t involve me directly, but I am affected indirectly as it involves folks I love.  It’s getting fairly ugly and, while I’m trying to stay out of it, I have huge opinions and feelings about all of it.  I’ve been sad, angry, disgusted, disappointed, worried, and just plain fed up.

So often, we don’t even know what we’re feeling.  We have so much experience stuffing feelings down that it’s difficult let them come up and be counted.  There’s a zillion old messages we tell ourselves (without realizing it) that feeds this tendency: It’s not that big of a deal, it doesn’t really matter, I don’t have time to feel that way, I will deal with it some other time, I’m being silly, etc.  After awhile, this leads to an incredible disconnect.  No wonder we are thirsting for connection – we’re not even connected with ourselves!

I think that all of our feelings have a purpose.  While our feelings are not facts, they are there for a reason, they do lead us to make choices that help us evolve, and they do signal the need for change or exploration.  Ignoring feelings is never healthy, but it’s also not good to marinate in them until each and every cell of our beings are infused with them.  There has to be a middle ground.  The best thing I’ve come up with is to acknowledge our feelings, give them power for a little while, and then send them on the way.  When I know I’ve got things bottled, stuffed, and buried, I need help to pull them out and into the air.  ENTER THE HEART OPENERS!

Certain yoga postures can be an express ticket to Feelingville.  When done with the intention of allowing the feelings to come, allowing ourselves to feel the feelings, and allowing ourselves to release the feelings, Yoga heals.  The results may or may not be immediate.  You may start to feel and heal in the midst of a posture, but it’s also likely that you’ll still be healing and feeling days afterward.  Rest assured, however, you WILL feel, you WILL heal, and you will move forward on your journey.

If you have a broken heart, if you have a stagnant heart, if you have buried emotions and you want to free yourself, try some of these yoga postures:

Bhujangasana (cobra)

Ustrasana (Camel)

Gomukhasana arms (cow face arms)

Matsyasana (fish)

Dhanurasana (Bow)

Marichyasana I (bound Sage)

Purvottanasana (inclined plank)

Setu bandha sarvangasana (bridge)

Urdhva dhanurasana (wheel or upward bow)

Natarajasana (dancer)

Eka pada rajakapotasana (one footed king pigeon)

Anjanyasana (Shakti’s lunge)

Utkatasana (Chair)

Virabadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)

Urdhva mukha svanasana (Upward facing dog)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon)

Also, in any poses with arms overhead, try turning the palms to the back of the room and opening your arms out wide in a 45degree angle.    In forward folds, lead with your sternum (your heart!)  Send your breath to the center of your being and remember to bring your hands in Anjali Mudra to heart center often.

I practiced heart openers for 2 hours (split into two sessions) yesterday.  For a long while, it felt as though Champagne bubbles were floating around my chest cavity.  I ran the gamut of emotions from joy to bliss to rage to fear to pain to … well, I felt it all.  I cried.  I laughed.  I yelled.  And, ultimately, I healed.  Nothing has changed about the situation surrounding the people in my life, but I am more grounded, more centered, and more aware.  More alive.  More present.  I am healed. I am healing.  I feel.  And I am open.  You can be, too.



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