Monday, February 20, 2012

Opening Your Throat to Hear Your Heart


Valentine's Day has just passed - but for some, it's not always a happy day. This week's Monday Meditations is being replaced with a very personal account by a yogi and blogger on how she overcame heartache through yoga. Thank you Red Lotus Mama for contributing! Here are her words:


I started practicing yoga in 2000 to help improve my physical health. I tried step classes, cardio,weight lifting, and kickboxing. But yoga is the one exercise I am passionate about and motivated to do almost every day. For one hour I would think of nothing other than how my muscles and organs were working together. All the stress and worry of the day would melt away with my sweat and breath.
For five years I practiced yoga as often as I could; but after I had my daughter, my practice suffered. My life suffered as well. I went through a nasty divorce. I gained a lot of weight. And, later suffered a difficult break up with a man I thought was the love of my life. For months after the break up I was depressed. Every day felt like a struggle to get through. My heart was heavy with memories and unanswerable questions, so I turned to the one thing I knew could help me get back on track…yoga.
A new studio had opened in my neighborhood, and I couldn’t find any more excuses not to sign up for a membership. During every yoga class, I went through the motions of focusing on clearing my mind, being present in the moment on my mat, and how all of my body parts were working together. One day my instructor had us working on opening our throat chakra which would allow my mind to hear my heart. Whatever inspiration or passion I had been ignoring would be given a chance to be heard and focused on. 
But, no matter how much I leaned my head back in my Urdhva Mukha Svanasana pose (upward facing dog) I couldn't hear anything. Either my heart or throat (or both) were completely closed up, preventing me from moving forward in life.
After a few classes of trying to open my throat chakra I realized what was blocking it - ANGER! I slowly started to let go of my anger and began to forgive. After every class my heart felt lighter, and I was thinking more clearly.
Now I find there is room in my heart for new experiences and possibly new love. So, if you are also aching to let your heart be heard, give this a try: Spread your arms. Arch your upper back. Lean your head back in space. Let your heart and throat open. 
Then breathe. 
And listen.

About Red Lotus Mama
Nicole is a “thirtysomething” year old single mom. She is a California native who grew up in the LA Valley, went to college in San Diego, and started her career as a website producer in San Francisco. In 2003 she returned to San Diego to be closer to family and friends. She daydreams about getting paid to write, taking photographs, practicing yoga daily, and living in a beach front cottage. In reality she works full time while trying to finding nirvana in the midst of motherhood. Read her blog here.

3 comments:

  1. Love your site and you have nice work... I love it, I have always wanted to do yoga, i have had failed back surgery. and fused disc,sounds heavenly, maybe I should check it out.

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    1. I highly recommend starting with a restorative yoga or a beginners class if you are still experiencing back issues. Make sure the instructor knows your back issues before the class starts so that they can provide you will modifications and corrections. Injuries with yoga happen when you are getting in and out of poses, so it is important to make sure you are moving slowly and listening to your instructor. I hope you try yoga ... you will love it!

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  2. I say, YES!! Check it out! Look for something GENTLE - nothing intimidating, too hot, or too intense. I don't know where you are located, but Anahata or Hatha yoga would be a good place to start. I do a lot of running and cycling, so I look to my yoga practice for relaxation, mediation, and stretching. You can always find intense yoga if you want it, but start out gentle and only increase intensity if it is what you want. Good luck and Namaste!
    Suzanne

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