Staying in it
When you presence your awareness in front of the most tender spot of your heart, TRUST THAT. Then locate the part of your SPINE right behind it. And LISTEN to what the HEART has to offer. But to really listen you must FEEL. You must presence your FEELING-AWARENESS. And then you must REACH. Through all the intensity and resistance. You must STAY IN IT to receive the GIFT.
I came to 7am practice yesterday morning with all sorts of stuff up. My heart was charged, emotions in a yuck state. I was triggered and angry with myself, for the uncomfortable situations I put myself in and the truths I don't speak.
As Sofia began practice, she had us find our deepest motive for being there this morning and what we were dedicating our practice to.
Then she had us place our namaste in front of the most tender spot of our heart. I felt the spot immediately, in my upper chest, about 2 1/2 inches above the armpit line. She had us press our palms together firmly, extending our elbows out like beams of light, then locate the part of the spine behind the tender spot. It was between my shoulder blades, around T4.
She continued to guide us as we sat, aligning our frame and lengthening our spine, then softening the hold and letting the bones do the work. Sits bones spiking down, head pushing up, everything else relaxing. LETTING THE BONES DO THE WORK.
It was a difficult practice (themed around the dad, dad issues, relating with our personal dad). Sofia kept putting her attention on me (which brought up shame and embarrassment pretty strongly), making lots of adjustments to my form, pushing my efforts to new edges, testing my motive and dedication to stay in it and keep reaching to find what needed to soften.
The asana sequence was also physically challenging. There was a lot going on, trying to STAY IN IT while in the intensity of your third set of one handed planks…one arm lifted reaching forward, head pushing, tailbone pulling, finding the spine, finding that tender heart spot and breathing into it.
All the shaking and grunting is extra stuff you add yourself, my teacher says. Totally not necessary. So find out WHAT’S UP. Feel it. Know it with certainty. And breathe into it FROM YOUR HEART.
In the thick of practice we came to a high namaste Tadasana (mountain pose). I reached toward the sky with my middle fingers, shoulder blades down, feet cemented, tailbone reaching toward the earth. Finding my spine. Finding that tender spot and drawing huge breaths into it and up the spine. It was then that I felt a pop, and muscles relaxing, bones aligning. My body felt like a light had come on inside it. I didn’t want to come out of the pose. My head shook, energy charged. My throat swelled. Tears spilled out. As we brought our arms down and to namaste at our heart, an image appeared in my awareness, a close up of my mother’s upper back, neck, shoulders. Great tension that felt like thick rubber. The image released a valve and my chest—front, back, through, around—filled with pain lit up by the light in my spine. Then Sofia moved us on.
Hatha Yoga is a practice of purification. As Sofia says while we reach from our hearts through the intensity of a pose, exhaling up the spine, ‘EVERYTHING IS LEAVING YOU BUT BLISS’.
Practice eventually ended and as Sofia said some words about it, laughter came amidst tears that began to pour down my face again. Laughter amidst the pain. Receiving--within a smile I could not contain--the gift I had just been given.