July 26, 2011

Sometimes You Have to Show Up Crying.

Go ahead, feel like crap. It’ll make you feel better.

Yin and Yang:

Polar opposites. But both are necessary for the other to survive.

In yoga we have a healthy balance of challenge and ease in the practice. We really can’t appreciate the one without the other.

In life we feel a healthy balance of pain and joy. Pain sucks. But we feel it for a reason.

Days come when I feel like I have a knot in my chest, and I feel as though the only thing I can do to get rid of it is to pick a fight with someone – or go to a boxing class. I feel angry, sad, depressed, and resentful. I want to hit something. Usually, I have no idea why. It’s a lot like having knots in my muscles and needing to twist and bend in my yoga practice to work out all of the kinks to get back to feeling like myself again.

I need this same yoga practice to work out the knots in my chest, but practicing is usually the last thing I want to do. I know I need it to take me to my breaking point, where I can tip over and finally release the tension that has been building, storing and making a home for itself at my heart center.

Sometimes the breaking point comes in a hip opener; sometimes the breaking point comes at that first child’s pose; sometimes it comes in savasana… tears will start to well from the overwhelming emotion that rises to my chest – like a warmth I can’t suppress.

I’ve realized that it truly takes this surge of emotion to completely rid myself of these knots. Knots that build whenever I suppress emotion, am not honest with myself or others, or experience some shock.

The next time your practice takes you to this point: Relish in it.

Sometimes you have to show up on your mat crying. Then you can savor the release of emotions that are allowing you to get back to yourself again.

And when you get home from wherever you were practicing to curl up on your couch and cry like a baby, might I suggest these songs to help you surrender to it?

Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson

Skinny Love by Bon Iver

Walk Away by Ben Harper

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