Yoga for a heavy heart.

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Lots of people I know seem to be going through tough times at the moment.  They’re in the valleys of life, rather than the peaks.   I don’t care what anybuddhi says, sometimes life really is a big pile of poo.  And as much as we can reassure ourselves in hard times that ‘this too shall pass’, sometimes we just want to punch the platitudes in the face because, frankly, we are emotional and sensory beings, we feel things, we can’t always simply choose to feel happy – although we’re often pressured to feel it’s this simple.   

Often, when we’re trying to find silver linings, see the forest for the trees, or look on the bright side of life, we forget to give expression to the true feelings.  We feel we should be able to somehow rise above them.  But there are times when, despite our most optimistic efforts, the heart grows heavy.  We feel it there, water-logged in the chest, but we don’t know what to do with it.  If we open the gates, we might get swept away.

This is the part where I say yoga fixes everything, right?

Well, no.  That’s not a promise I’m willing to make.  Theoretically, yoga, like Buddhism, creates a distance between our self and our suffering.  Enlightenment is just that – it is the dissolution of the heaviness that comes with being human.  With a simple switch in perception (that comes to us through practice), we see that we are not our thoughts, or emotions, or bodies, or senses, or jobs, or relationships, or wealth, or social status.  These are anchors that bind us to suffering.  Transcendence sets us free.  Alas, achieving transcendence is about as easy as being able to lick your brain through your left nostril.

So, I’m not going to tell you yoga will eliminate your suffering.  But I will say this: yoga seems to have this uncanny ability to shift things – even if just for fleeting moments.  Sometimes fleeting moments are enough to lift the spirits to hope. 

When the effort of living is reduced to putting one foot in front of the other, yoga might not erase all your pain but it can be the friend who holds your hand. 

©The Yoga Experiment, 2013

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6 thoughts on “Yoga for a heavy heart.

  1. I live by the reminder that during hard time ‘this too shall pass.’ Sankalpa is extremely powerful in shifting stuff/energy/negativity/difficult emotions/being stuck. I like the idea that yoga can hold your hand. It is a great comfort and a tool to help us realise our potential and purpose, and give us the impetus to go for it.

  2. Awesome…well put…..it’s nice to have a hand to hold :D…reminds me of an old friend who always says ‘Try and find the golden nugget within the poo’…I often find nuggets later after the poo has settled.

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