I am one of the first ones to enter class as I often am, being that I am obsessively on time for everything (but that’s for a later post). I gather props and relax into Supta Baddha Konasana (reclined bound angle pose) and begin relaxing into my breath and being one with my mat. Distracted, as other humans trickle in, I open my eyes but keep staring at the ceiling, contemplating a few specific things about my past. A whirlwind of bodies, conversation and the pitter pattering of bare feet on the hardwood floors ground me:
I AM HERE.
I begin my practice being slightly more vulnerable than normal, and a bit more open. We were instructed to start with a carefully sequenced and creative version of Surya Namaskar B (sun salutation) and after a few, the heat in the room grew intense. No more than half of the class is over and I’m fighting back tears. Having promised myself that my practice was somewhere I wasn’t allowed to hold back because the rest of my reality I tend to, I feel the relief trickle down my cheeks. Why are we not supposed to get emotional in public? Why is it so common that people want others to “suck it up” and stop feeling? Afterall, Brian Swimme’s words spoke so loudly to me in the book called The Universe is a Green Dragon, when he explains that is our main purpose here as humans is to feel, experience and be the consciousness of the Universe. If I am not feeling and experiencing so that the Universe can also do so, what am I even doing? Why is being less emotional more productive seeming? As soon as I decide to let go of judgement, THAT song comes on the Teacher’s carefully created playlist. A big hug from the Universe is what I translate that to be: I am in alignment with my emotions, my thoughts, healing and where I am right this very moment.
As class nears the end, the Teacher takes us through a series of hip openers and stretches, which only opens my realm of healing more before we take Savasana. Nothing particularly different happened during this class as most, maybe the Teacher held a more open and loving space for us students, maybe I was highly contemplative beforehand, I can’t be quite sure. What I can be sure of is that healing took place, relief was brought to me on a silver platter by way of salty tears during a sweaty yoga practice and I remained open enough to be on the receiving end and it was beautiful.
If life is just a series of moments, of learning lessons, of healing traumas, shouldn’t we be mindful in noticing the magic that lies within it all? Yes, there is plenty of suffering in the world and I wouldn’t wish pain and suffering in any way on any being, but without it, we wouldn’t recognize beauty or positivity either. So life is a series of moments balancing on this beam that we perceive as extremely thin that divides the love from the fear when in fact, it is as wide as we make it in our minds. Some don’t know how to balance, they see negativity in the media, and their whole day/ week is ruined and everything is negative; and some feel what they feel, let it go, and move onto the next emotion and life lesson of the day. We must try to expand that beam because it’s what connects us, it is our togetherness and our interdependence. My ideal society thrives on interdependence, love, and acceptance to be and feel whatever each moment requires of us. Recognize when moments or even days pass that you haven’t felt anything specific, haven’t been sad or happy, just going through the motions of your daily routine and work schedule. Recognize that this is not healthy or normal. Ask yourself how you’re feeling more often, heal from the emotion suppressors like irrelevant work and school life, tell people you love them and allow others to love you. This is seemingly a requirement for a happy and successful life: to love ourselves.
We can only love others as deeply as we love ourselves and we can only understand others as deeply as we understand ourselves.