The Path To Bodhichitta

You start where you are, the practice will meet you there.

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Heart Of The Matter

It's no secret that yoga has a way of uncorking emotional bottles deep within us, unleashing its contents onto the mat. One minute we're arching gracefully into Cobra and the next minute, we're dissolving into tears. One minute we're firmly rooting our feet in Warrior I and the next, we feel strength surging through us. Or we're balancing with delicate lightness in Headstand and suddenly, we experience a moment of clarity. The explaination is simple - each pose corresponds to a certain chakra and as we glide into that pose, the energy in the respective chakra is gently stirred. Depending on the depth of our practice or the state of our emotions, we feel either the direct or subtle power of the chakra's attributes.

I've witnessed these emotional waves in the ashram and even in my own class, but I've never experienced it firsthand. Until I stepped into my first vinyasa class. Or rather, after I stepped out of it. I've been for two classes since and both times, it has wreaked havoc with my Anahata (heart) chakra.

Driving home after class, I suddenly felt tears spring to my eyes. Taken aback, I frowned and swiped at my eyes. Almost immediately, fresh tears pooled hotly in them again. By the time I pulled up at the next set of traffic lights, they were overflowing uncontrollably. This emotional tsunami followed me all the way into my apartment and even into the shower, where I stood bent over double, sobs racking my entire body. My mind raced, scrabbling for a logical explanation to this madness. Whole minutes passed before I realised that I was ramming my clenched fists over my heart. My mind stopped dead in its tracks and slowly turned its attention to the emotional hub of my being. And that's when I saw and felt the contents of that now opened bottle. Then I did something odd. I told my heart it had my full permission to spill itself out. My mind respectfully stepped back and silently watched as the tears came harder and more furiously. After a while, the tears subsided and a wonderful calm settled over me. It was as though my heart had undergone a much needed spring cleaning.

When I told The Healer and The Seer this, they both smiled and said it was a healing process. Neither seemed surprised. I did the right thing by quieting my mind and allowing my heart to take centrestage, they said. The Healer, who attended the class with me, also reminded me of the numerous heart opening poses we had done. What a wonderful way of experiencing the power of yoga, she beamed.

I agreed wholeheartedly.


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