Sandias, Warrior I Eagle Arms, or “What I learned today…”

… you don’t have to hold it all together. Really.
During an amazing multi-hands Cranio-Sacral treatment with my cranio-goddess-friend, Jeanne Gorham, I realized how I’d been holding my shoulders and hips in place – with muscular strength. And I realized how I don’t have to do that – they’re built to stay together.

And then I realized: I don’t have to hold my body together, I don’t have to hold my heart together, I don’t have to hold my world together. They’re all built to break a little, bend a little and heal a lot.

And then I heard every yoga teacher who’d ever said “now suck your armbones in,” or “hold that right there…” or “hold your breath for…” ….for WHAT? For NOTHING.

We aren’t meant to hold, we are meant to radiate.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my love-hate relationship with yoga: I love practice, I dislike the industry more and more every day. Thing is, it’s awfully hard to tell them apart.

I love practice, I love movement and hold fierce space for exploration and finding. But when bodies, hearts or minds hold, healing is what’s really called for. Let’s sling the arm, support the tears, hug the heart and engage the mind that feels like it must hold itself any certain way.

I’m a determined opponent of anything that says you must do anything that doesn’t accord with your deepest instinct. And here’s the real deal: you have to feel your deepest instinct before you know what accords with it. So I’m for all and only what supports you feeling your deepest instinct.

And I’m all for letting go, and letting the structure of my body, heart and world do what they’re there to do: unfold, reveal, disintegrate and heal.

In order to form a more perfect union…

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,
establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common
defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to
ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the
United States of America.” ~preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America

Today is Independence Day in the USA where I live. It’s quite the holiday, with fireworks and grand outdoor parties, National Public Radio reads the Constitution on Morning Edition on this day every year.

As a yogini, it was impossible for me not to hear the above words as a declaration of not only political intention, but also the individual clarity from which this could grow. “Yoga”, which translates as “union” is a way of cultivating integrity of the mind, body and heart, to grow in our coincidence with ourselves by bringing awareness to the ways in which we still cling to beliefs, habits, behaviors and ideas that don’t support and serve our true nature. Justice and balance, tranquility, safety, welfare and liberty grow directly from this alignment of clarity and support it in others in turn.

So consider doing yoga for liberty today. Wherever you are, and with collective or personal union in mind, when we cultivate integrity between intentions, actions and ideas we create a firm foundation for action and clearer expression.  For the 4th of July class I taught based on this idea go to yogaeveryday.org – Balance and Binding poses in a Mixed Level class.