Saturday, July 28, 2012

Yoga for a Broken Heart - Part 1- Committing to Stillness

There are many ways that we become heartbroken. It can be from years of failed relationships, a betrayal from a partner,  divorce , the loss of a loved one, abandonment, disappointment, even loneliness. Some of our heartbreaks are so deep that it feels as though we may never recover. We become so disconnected from ourselves that we need something to guide us back to wholeness.
All to often we search for something or someone outside of ourselves to make us happy. But those of us who have tried that route have no-doubt experienced the fleeting  happiness that is born from a relationship incubated in a bubble of neediness. It is our relationship to ourselves and the understanding of who we really are that will bring us that feeling of completeness and the knowing that we are never truly alone.
The Yoga Sutras describes a light that resides inside each of us- A luminance  that is beyond all sorrow. This light is said to be located at the heart center. If we can access that light by letting go of resistance, offering gratitude and surrendering to what is,we can once again- and maybe for the first time taste our true nature -one that is full of joy, freedom and bliss. 
The process of accessing that light requires svadyaya (self Study), abhyanga (diligent practice) and vairagya (dispassion). We  have to muster the courage to walk through the fire of transformation and we should begin by making a sacred commitment to ourselves towards our own healing. 
But first we must learn to become still.  Stillness is probably the one thing we'd like to avoid. Busyness keeps us distracted from our issues and the pain at heart. Perpetual motion is a great tool to avoid seeing our patterns, ways we could have acted more wisely or compassionately . It staves off those voices of doubt in our minds that maybe we actually are unlovable or underserving and might always be alone. It seemingly keep us from feeling the pain. But it's still there, under the surface, bubbling away- deciding whether to burst forth and release or sink deep and create toxicity and dis-ease.  And at the end of the day it only serves to keep our healing at bay. 
We need to stop the endless watching of TV, surfing the web, overworking and the countless coffee's with friends who just want to cheer us up or rehash the story over and over as they project their own relationship woes onto us.
Even our asana practice can became a way to distract ourselves. However if we turn off the music and infuse our asana practice with the subtler aspects of yoga like pranayama, mantra and bandha's we can use it to prepare us for deep meditation. From this place we can begin to pry open the door to the cave of the heart. Isn't this what the practice was meant for? To have effect on how we show up in world and not just how we look in the mirror?
It is said that in the stillness the unknown becomes known. It may be scary to look into those painful and cavernous places within ourselves. But it must be done if we want to be free.
Make the decision now to to take your seat,close your eyes, be with yourself and breathe. Being still will illuminate your inner world and how you experience the outerworld will be shifted. But the practice of meditation is much more powerful when you practice daily . If possible do it in the same place at the same time everyday and you will see that the cumulative power of a daily practice becomes palpable very quickly.
Lets do an experiment together and commit to sit. Commit to get still, same time, same place everyday (if possible) just for the next 30 days. You may have a favorite meditation or you can use the Morning Clarity Meditation for the first week if you are just getting started. I will be uploading more meditations each week that will lead us deeper into the healing and expansion of the heart.
At the end of this 4 part series I will  announce a time for a Google chat so we can share our experiences  and connect as a community.

Here are some things that will  help you to move your healing journey forward this week:

1. Non-expectation
2. Silence  at least 30 minutes before bed
3. Reduce media intake
4. Take time to be alone

Hari Om Tat Sat

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