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Hip openers. Heart openers. Moving stale energy. Accessing strength. Juicening the spine. Softening the jaw. Deepening into flexibility. Quieting the mind. Finding our breath.

What does any of that MEAN???

I was thinking about some of the phrasing that can be found in a yoga class. Looking around at my coworkers at the hospital, I thought about what my medically minded peers might process in a class where these ideas are expressed.

I had to laugh a little.

The ways in which we might encourage our students to engage with the process of becoming stronger and more flexible is directly correlated with the task of teaching the mind to relax into the strength and flexibility that is what we call “mindfulness“. Its linguistic creativity takes us away from “normal” so that when we find our place upon our mats, we are given permission to move away from our boxes and rules. It allows us to dive into places we forget to remember. It opens the door to “mindfulness”. And it’s the mindfulness that is the whole point.

The yogic asana, or “exercise“, will make us strong. It will improve flexibility. It will enhance our ability to breathe in spite of pain, loss, anxiety, grief…in spite of everything. And while it is doing all of that, somewhere along that inspired path, the brain forgets to hold on to its narratives. It holds on, instead, to…nothingness.

When we forget to think, when we let the inner dialog sleep, we get the beautiful moment of just…nothing. And we breathe. And we reach beyond want. And we bend into deepness. And we lift into the clouds. And root into the earth. And suddenly, all of it makes sense. The heart understands what it is to “open”. The hips relate to the word, “melt”.

The strength and the flexibility we walk in the door to obtain begins to work on the neuronal pathways in the brain wherein strength and flexibility take on new meaning.

All of it requires a beautiful willingness and trust because the sensual nature of yoga is deeply powerful and requires profound vulnerability.

It’s worth it.

It’s more than worth it.

💛 The light in me is here for the light in you.


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