July 4, 2014

Breathe in & Respond. ~ Alex Sharry

yoga sunset

I am emotional and reactive.

There are voices and feelings and emotional triggers that live—so stubbornly—in my lower belly and when something inspires them, they voyage to my throat.

Once they’ve hit my throat, I’ve lost all control of what comes next—what is said, what is sworn, what is vowed—it’s not me. It’s them.

This is my mind off yoga.

My rage left marks in my childhood home. There were holes in the walls. The pages of my journal looked as if I was writing to stab something. Everyone hurt me, no one heard me and I built a throne on these acquisitions and clung to the paranoia like a lifeline in choppy seas.

Sure, I was a teenager, but this venom lived inside me, and always will.

When I found yoga, my world inverted.

Not only did it invert, but it shook me. It spread this venom that sits in my belly through my whole torso. Through my digestive tract. Through my lungs. I was angrier than ever and super raw.

I had dug my fingers deeper into this throne, and I was not going to let go.

In these particular moments, we hurt the ones we love and then hurt ourselves (over and over and over again) for doing so.

But there is this yoga. This yoga—this union.

Yoga unites all sides of ourselves. Yoga shaves away the need to react and instead offers the option of response.

Response with breath, response with movement, response to self-realize and therefore, to journey closer to this venom—to see it, to taste it, to touch it, to bathe in it.

At one point in time, I needed this venom. I needed this fire to fight and to survive. I can appreciate this venom now, and respond to it with compassion for that little girl.

A yogi is a non-victim. A yogi holds the clearest of mirrors into his or her deepest self and says,

You are responsible for You.”

This unity, this yoga, this practice saves our lives. It gives us our life with no screen or filter and says,

“Choose. Choose to live this.”

We all have something burning that lives inside of us. Stay with me. Stay with it. Listen to it.

Where was it born? Where does it live?  Where does it travel in your body when someone you love inspires reaction out of you?

Stay with me and put your hands on this place. Love this place. Thank this place for its existence.

Fire is necessary. It gives us sparks, light, heat and passion.

But, we have all the elements living inside us.

Send a coolness to this space. Breathe into your hands as you heal yourself in the moments where reaction seems to be the only response. Know that it is not. Respond to yourself first, and then see how you learn to respond to others.

Reactivity is us on our thrones, digging our nails in, refusing to get down. Response is the mirror into our hearts.

Look into your heart.

Stay with me. Stay with you. And breathe.



Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Giuseppe Chirico/Flickr Creative Commons


Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Alex Sharry