“Love Is Where We End Up.” Yoga for a Broken Heart with Seane Corn.

Via on Apr 15, 2012

I didn’t expect to come out of a class on brokenness feeling uplifted.

I expected to come out of it a teary mess. Out of all of the classes at Yoga Journal, I was looking forward to this class the most, and at the same I was nervous about it. Seane started the class by having all of us scoot up off of our mats and come in close so we could talk for awhile. She started by sharing the most significant heart traumas she had experienced: her father’s death, her teacher’s death, her cat’s death, the break-up of a significant relationship…and the one I instantly felt connection with, was simply an experience when a helium balloon she had popped as a child.

She talked about the experience of being so enthralled with this balloon she had been given at about six or eight-years-old, only to have it pop on some prickers as she played. I know that kind of loss, it’s that simple raw grief that we have over things as children before we start trying to bargain with things that hurt us. We feel it all, deeply, and don’t have the social mechanisms in place to brush it off our deny it.

But we moved on to others from the class sharing things they were grieving. Some burst out with it, some you could see shifting their weight from side to side, weighing the decision to share or not.  I listened, but part of me stayed with that story of the balloon. All the hurts we go through, all of our grief matters. How we process it, or refuse to process it, affects whether we let ourselves allow love in. I sat and played observer, half of the participants who shared, half of my own mental checklist of hurts:

“Yes, I remember that one. Nope, that doesn’t hurt any more. I don’t know what to think about that one, it’s too fresh. This one’s too small, I shouldn’t still care about it.”

But we do. We have to look at where we’re broken and deal with it. Not to smooth things over and be fixed, but to truly be able to allow love in. As Seane said, “You have to go through the ‘f*ck you’ to get to the ‘bless you.’” If we just smooth things over and don’t go through the anger and the tears and all of it—for real—we can’t to get through to the place where we can give and receive love.

We moved back to our mats and into our asana portion of the class—a few sun salutations to begin and then hip and heart openers. When I tried to ease back into Camel pose, that’s where it hit me. My heart said no. I don’t want to. I don’t want to let you do this. I consider myself a fairly open hearted person, but it’s been a difficult year.

As I leaned backwards and lowered my hands towards my ankles, my body said no. I don’t want to do this any more. So I stayed there, as far as my ripped-up heart would let me go. I remembered a day as a child, fighting with my brother and my mother taking his side. I remembered just lying on my bed sobbing. And I got it (for today anyway). There’s no hierarchy for pain, it’s all in there, and we need to look at all of it.

Love and grief are our oceans. They aren’t opposites. The grief is an ebb and flow that continues through our lives. It comes up, and if we dam that ocean off, we shut love out too. We need to go through it, all the f*cked up tears and anger—all of it—to get to the love. I had a few tears as I realized this, but left hopeful. I loved all of Seane’s stories about her dad and his illness and passing. It was beautiful to witness the other participants in their various stages of grief.

But this is is what I kept, and what left me full of hope, “Love is always where we end up.” We don’t wade through all the sh*t of anger, sadness and grief to just be empty. We get through it to allow the love in.

About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. Her love of words is boundless, but she knows that many of life’s best moments are completely untranslatable. When she is not writing, you may find her practicing yoga, devouring a book, playing with her children, planting dandelions, or dancing barefoot with her heart on her sleeve. She is madly in love with life and does not know how this story ends; she’s making it up as she goes. Kate is the owner and editor-in-chief of Be You Media Group. She also writes for The Huffington Post, elephant journal, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, Yoganonymous, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. She facilitates writing workshops and retreats throughout North America. Heart Medicine, Kate's book on writing, is now available on Amazon.com You can follow Kate on Facebook and Twitter

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31 Responses to ““Love Is Where We End Up.” Yoga for a Broken Heart with Seane Corn.”

  1. Valerie Carruthers ValCarruthers says:

    Gorgeous, Kate! Every nuance in that room so eloquently and heartrendingly perceived. And a beautiful reminder that in the end everything flows into that love.

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Spirituality Homepage.

    Valerie Carruthers
    Please go and "Like" Elephant Spirituality on Facebook

  2. Jeannie Page Jeannie Page says:

    Awesome Kate! Resonated on so many levels. Shared with my fans. :)

  3. [...] “Love Is Where We End Up.” Yoga for a Broken Heart with Seane Corn. [...]

  4. yourdailybreath says:

    Beautiful writing. So ripe with the experience I felt like I was there.

  5. Aja Reeser says:

    Beautiful. My practice lately has been about looking deeply at whatever it is that is coming up. Anger, fear, insecurity, happiness, attachment, whatever. I call it "staring that shit down" but what I am really doing is taking the time to feel it in my body, to ride it out and hold it with love. When my daughter falls and bumps her knee I don't tell her, "Shake it off. Let's go find something to distract you." My response is to pick her up in my arms and tell her, "I know. I know it hurts baby. I know." This is how I try to hold my fears and hurts and losses and insecurities and everything, like a small child, acknowledging that "yes, I do see you and I know that you are in pain." And yes, on the other side of it is love. Each and every time. And it surprises me every time still!

  6. "There’s no hierarchy for pain" – so true & so generous. Thank you, Kate.

  7. Tanya Lee Markul Tanya Lee Markul says:

    So lovely! Thank you Kate! xoxo

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  8. Valerie Carruthers ValCarruthers says:

    Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Spirituality Homepage.

    Valerie Carruthers
    Please go and "Like" Elephant Spirituality on Facebook

  9. All very emotional, but what does it actually mean? "tugging the heart strings" is not depth, it's superficial. Sorry, I know that will "hurt" someone, but let's be real, ok? "Love" is not emotion.

  10. Yeah, sorry, read it again, but still can't see how "love is where we end up." It's not an automatic spin cycle on a washing machine. Good heavens, it takes more than someone's death to allow us to reach love. There's a whole series being posted on love and yoga and the Gita….have you read it? Because as much as you spread yourself around EJ and as much as you want to talk about "love" and "yoga," there's absolutely zero depth to anything you write. Again, apologies, but let's call a spade a spade. This is superficial fluff. Get a little deeper, honey: it's out there, but like I wrote a week ago, will you recognize it when you see it?

    • Wow. Well, thanks for your thoughts. I have read the series on the Gita, as well as the previous one and participated in the discussion. I appreciate criticism, but I wish you could have done it in a way that was a little less reductive and insulting.

      I don't pretend to be wise or sage—in fact I've written quite often about how much more I have to learn in life. But to say there is "zero depth to anything I write" doesn't feel true to me. In fact, you and I have had some great dialogues in the past on my writing, and I hope we will again…sorry to hear this piece was such a miss for you.

      Be well, Braja.

      • Hi, Braja. I have to strongly disagree with you on this one.

        I personally find this piece, and Kate's writing in general, to be full of truth and depth. And I find it totally compatible with the Gita and with your writings on the Gita.

        In the Gita, by my reading, love is, in fact, exactly where we end up.

        (Plus my wife Jane has taken classes with Seane Corn and thinks she is wonderful.)

        Bob

  11. “insulting” and “reductive” is just ego; which basically is what “yoga” is about in the US. Don’t take it personally. You know I love your spirit but I’m not a bullshitter, I’m an Aussie :) “Love” ain’t cheap, and there’s far more to it than “opening up” and speaking of death or trauma or past experiences. That doesn’t “end up” with love. Sorry if my directness hurts you; you know me well enough to know I don’t want to hurt you, Kate my lovely :)

    It’s not that your “piece” was a “miss.” It’s the whole American bullshit slant on yoga, period. And as soon as someone puts a photo of that one of Sean Corne, above, up on an article about yoga, immediately anyone with practical and honest intelligence will say, “No way, that has NOTHING to do with yoga.” That photo? Pure ego, babe :) Sue me, try and argue, call me whatever, but that photo? Absolutely NOTHING to do with either love or yoga.

    Again, I request: let’s get real.

    And again, I repeat: it’s not personal. Love you, Kate…xx

    • Thanks for the clarification, Braja!

      By the way, I met Catherine Ghosh briefly this weekend as well…told her how much I love the Gita collaboration you two have going.

  12. [...] tearing down the lies and the pretenses and the veneers that cover the truth. Why? So that we can love each other better. So that we can live life like we [...]

  13. [...] People rave about Elena Brower and Seane Corn for a good reason. Inviting Grace and Yoga for a Broken Heart were lessons that will stay with [...]

  14. [...] I take my first class of the weekend with Seane Corn, Yoga For A Broken Heart, and I have all of these crazy moments happening. First, I am awestruck by Seane. I thought it [...]

  15. [...] its dramatic kick-off lead by Beryl Bender Birch, straight through to its closing challenge from Seane Corn boldly asking each of us: [...]

  16. [...] “Love Is Where We End Up.” Yoga for a Broken Heart with Seane Corn. (elephantjournal.com) [...]

  17. [...] from recording artists Robert Gass and Deva Premal, to yoga teacher and spiritual activist Seane Corn. The musicians are far more tolerant (live and let live) than Corn, who, while clearly fond of [...]

  18. [...] said before, I haven’t done yoga more than five times in the last year, so an almost two hour Seane Corn yoga class meant me wanting savasana 30 minutes in. Usually, I struggle to hold each tough position to the [...]

  19. [...] all eyes are on Seane Corn, yoga instructor, teacher and humanitarian. Over 200 dedicated yogis eagerly lean in to soak up [...]

  20. [...] Seane Corn, Janet Stone, Chris Chavez, MC Yogi, Eoin Finn, Sjanie Mcinnis and Wanderlust co-founder Schulyer Grant all weigh in with their thoughts, which I crafted into a synthesis that captures the broad snapshot of Western “yoga” at this moment. http://www.vimeo.com/49177733 [...]

  21. oh touche :) As soon as a "yoga teacher" poses like that? It's just ego/promotion/bullshit. I am constantly stunned at how much bullshit America has reduced yoga to….

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