Backbends and the Brokenhearted.

Via Lindsay Jean Thomson
on Feb 14, 2011
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Backbending With A Friend

Right around this time last year I noticed that I was avoiding backbends in my yogasana practice. I didn’t have an obvious physical reason not to do bridge, wheel or any of the other deep heart opening postures. In the moment, I thought I just didn’t feel like doing them and I honored that feeling and let myself rest.

It’s strange because I can often read other people by way they carry themselves – the stressed-out yogi with his shoulders up in his ears, the too-many-times heartbroken girl with her shoulders shielding her heart. But when it’s me and my life, the realizations are a little slower to unfold.

I noticed the resistance, but I wasn’t ready to admit to myself what was really going on. Sometimes the body carries truths our hearts aren’t ready to recognize. It didn’t really come as a surprise when after a few weeks of this my then-boyfriend and I broke up because I already knew in my heart that something wasn’t right.

The beauty of the yoga practice is that it can be so much more than a workout or a stretch, though those are nice too. Pay attention to the resistance, wherever yours is, because it’s there for a reason. Our bodies – and our hearts – are resilient. It’s all good, even the heartbreak – especially the heartbreak –  because every experience is a chance to open your heart.

And, in case you were wondering, I’m back to doing backbends and lots of them!


About Lindsay Jean Thomson

Lindsay Jean Thomson is a San Francisco-based vinyasa flow yoga teacher. She teaches at International Orange and is the co-founder of Flex Hour Yoga.


8 Responses to “Backbends and the Brokenhearted.”

  1. Nancy A says:

    What a great post.. I love how you show your inner inquiry about this resistance to backbending. Curious to see how it works out: backbending usually is super brightening to me. Hope it's the same for you!

  2. Uma Yoga says:

    I totally agree about our bodies speaking for us, I had simillar experiences in my practice and when I teach the most often seen sign is in deep hip openers lots of my female students cry, especially beginners, it is believed that women carry their emotions in their hips, so there is a release happening…

  3. Sara says:

    I am a beginner. I shield my heart with my shoulders, and had a blissful heart opening / hip opening yoga class last night that ended in a tearful savasana. Yet another reminder that life is a practice. Thank you, I loved this post.

  4. faern! says:

    backbends carry me through! i have had a rough couple'a years and let me tell you- BACKBENDS! just help, a LOT!

  5. Tana says:

    after losing my son 4 yrs ago backbends have become one of my daily "non-negotiables". without them i wouldn't make it through the day.

  6. Jerry says:

    though My body tells me, i don't want to show my trembling to others, Yoga makes my body too sensitive…

  7. […] told me to work on my backbends when I asked him for some feedback before I left, but ‘otherwise, the rest is fine.’ Granted […]

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