May 6, 2012 The ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart
(aka Camatkarasana or “wild thing”)
Weekend three of yoga school has left me feeling inspired, accomplished and open-hearted. Yesterday we all taught a series of five standing poses with transitions, which was wonderful practice and physically demanding. We did countless standing splits, revolved triangles, pyramids and half-moons. Today was backbends, which are so invigorating! The above picture is a backbend called Camatkarasana which translates to “the ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart”. I love sanskrit.
We also read more of the Bhagavad Gita.
The wise man does not unsettle
the minds of the ignorant; quietly
acting in the spirit of yoga,
he inspires them to do the same
Leading by example is the most powerful way to have a positive influence on others. It is great to share your experiences to help other people when they seek assistance, but trying to shove an ideology down a person’s throat is never the answer.
I began this week feeling energetically drained and emotionally heavy. I still managed to practiced yoga daily and I believe that really helped to keep my emotions in check. That is not to say that I repressed what I was feeling or tried to hide it. I practiced being an observer of my thoughts and feelings and by doing so I let a lot of baggage go. On Monday, when my emotions were at their most vulnerable, I allowed myself the time to really indulge those feelings. I cried like a baby and took a nap.
Throughout the week I continued to come to face with some habits that aren’t serving me, as well as some frustrations/annoyances that I needed to examine at a root level. I’m not saying that I am cured of all these maladaptive behaviors, but they don’t control me any more.
Yoga has really helped me to work on my mind, body and spirit. You might think “How does stretching your body help you to become a better, happier person?” and the truth is I don’t really have a definitive answer. I only know what it has done for me, and that so many others report its amazing benefits. Yoga makes you more aware of your body (its strengths and limitations), which then extends to your mind, calming your thoughts and allowing you to reflect on your own conscious state.
Once you venture down the path of awareness, you can never go back. I think this frightens many people because it means facing some not-so-pleasant aspects of themselves. But what is amazing is the fact that by just acknowledging our shadow self, not judging it, we diminish its power over us. You make room for so much more love and light and joy in your life.