When I said to Sofia at the end of practice Monday morning that Anjali mudra at my heart was challenging for me, she said it was because I didn’t know what I truly loved deep within. That my capacity to love needed to grow, NOT AS AN EMOTION, BUT AS A STATE OF BEING. It had been a back-to-basics class in which we meticulously practiced each pose and transition of the classic Hatha Sun Salutation sequence. When I was able to get out of my own way after hearing her response and soften my breath into my body, an image of my mom along with the word, “mom” flew in and out of awareness.
Then Wednesday morning’s practice happened.
A total mind-heart-body integration. A brilliantly guided practice of complete heart awareness on the physical body. Sofia says you know you’re thinking vs. feeling in a pose because when you’re feeling, it FEELS REALLY GOOD. That’s how it was for me for pretty much the entire practice. Every pose, even the intense ones, were SO enjoyable. From my heart, I was opening to love every one, wanting to remain for more time to explore and move through the intensity and see what it might reveal. And my heart understood at one point that I have a closure in my upper chest next to my armpits.
There was only one point when we got into a heart opening pose for the third time that I witnessed with utter clarity the distinction between feeling and thinking. The pose brought on a challenge that I immediately wanted out of. A complete switch into emotional and mental fear ensued. Trying to switch back to that feeling state felt impossible and I had to release from the pose.
Every pose is a gesture of LOVE. And you know when you’re thinking and not feeling from the heart because (based on my experience) :
- Staying in the pose becomes absolutely torturous
- Your past/future thoughts go haywire
- Your critical mind comes in, “Why can’t I do this? What’s wrong with me?”
- You give up and either blame it on something external or yourself
- You freak out and so does your breath
- Your body hardens and tenses
- You hear yourself saying, “get me the fuck out of this.
Now to this morning. Upon waking I went to my mat and set a timer for one hour. After sitting for a few minutes and getting clear on my motive and dedication, I rose, placing Anjali Mudra at my heart, and began a practice of Sun Salutations.
It’s not about the pose. It’s about the REACH within the pose. From your heart. It’s about outshining your limitations within the pose. From your heart. It’s about getting really honest and clear about what’s there and expanding your awareness. FROM YOUR HEART. Breathing into your whole body and outshining all limitations as you reach from your heart.
So why did that image of my mom come up? I have my ideas, my stories. But I find that in the end they are limiting. What I know is that since Monday my heart has unraveled and understood something that has opened more light-love into my body and I am so good with that.