February 14, 2011

Backbends and the Brokenhearted.

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!

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Lindsay Jean Thomson  |  Contribution: 1,800