Thursday, February 16, 2012

Stomach it with a soft heart

(I will continue to post class themes on this blog as the come up.  If you like ‘em, please use them and share them!  If you have some of your own, comment and add them with a link.  These ideas come from somewhere.  That somewhere is the space between our hands when we bring them together - we are all in that space.)
Stomach it with a soft heart.
There are times when I can just let a tough moment pass by like a leaf in the wind, maintaining my breezy outlook on life.  At these times, when I see other folks suffering with what seems small - an argument, a sense of unease, I can get dismissive of it or offer cliche platitudes.
In fact, I don’t want to feel what they feel, so I disassociate from it and contrive to diminish the importance of another’s distress through rationalization “well, shit happens - we’ve all experienced that”.  As if to say, because our suffering is universal, there is no point in really stepping into it.  I think this is a mistake.  It is by stepping into our pain when it is there that we can begin to understand the causes, and digest - literally break down into components - the “poisons” and turn them into nutrients.
Sounds like a good idea, but how?  With a soft heart yes, but a strong stomach.  When we feel really uneasy, the digestive system goes into panic mode and you might even want to vomit.  To get rid of what is inside.  What we can do instead is recognize the unease, and invite the stomach back into the strength of the ribs and spine, invite the butterflies into the cave that also holds the heart.
Asana focus - stability of the front wall of the abdomen via filling the back of the body with breath, maintaining an open chest while moving through a flow of longer-held poses culminating in headstand, shoulderstand and plow - “Halasana” - poison -removing pose.

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