Once plagued by a yearly bout of the winter blues, I sit here this Valentine’s Day, with complete surrender to the season.
Forcing our will against the inevitable never plays out favorably.
From Beck’s newest album, Morning Phase:
“If I surrender
And I don’t fight this wave
No I won’t go under
I’ll only get carried away”
Day in, day out, I’ve seen the tired, long grey faces of snowy, sustained winter. Personally, I no longer feel the long haul of our winters, ever since my serious practicing of yoga and Chinese Taoism: yoga, bringing acceptance, awareness and openness and the Tao, bringing surrender and oneness.
Last winter, when I was practicing both yoga and Taoism simultaneously for the first time, I witnessed the walls from within, crumble. As I shifted from the more active styles of yoga into the direction of moving yin-ward, I found myself on a few occasions… actually… crying. As I lay on the mat, tears ran past both cheeks. The best way I can explain it is as if I was peeling back the layers of an onion. I was finally facing my true, deep self, and there were layers that needed to be shed.
Directing my attention inwardly, though difficult at first, broke through to something so powerful it’s impossible to describe it with words. At this time, last winter, I thought I was aligning with some force much higher than me. An outside force, a feminine one. A healer. However, after a few tests and experiments I realized that force was coming from inside me! What a revelation! I’m the healer! I can control these awe inspiring states! That’s amazing! What else can I do?
In no time I received a few quick lessons. I’d feel safe enough to call them lashings. “Don’t ask for anything, you will be met with everything you ever truly need.” You see, I had asked the universe for particular things and when I received them they were painfully sour.
So I continued on without wanting anything, and life was providing everything I needed. However, I was slowly beginning to see that there weren’t many harms in setting “intentions”, that is, if my intentions were for pure “desires”; ones that benefited more than just myself.
In the beginning of the month I set an intention on the up and coming health and well-being website Grokker.com. Using the above Albert Camus quote I added:
“I’ve been practicing yoga every morning for the past couple of years to overcome my connective tissue disorders. Yoga has ignited something deep within me, more than anything else I have found.
As I come upon the last dreary month, I want to continuously shine that invincible summer that I have found within me. I see lots of long, grey faces this time of year, but I would like to use my online yoga classes and heart opening techniques to not only shine myself, but shine for others, too.”
As I am halfway through the month, on this Valentine’s Day, I share with you some heart opening techniques to get you through these last days.
We live in a rational, left brain dominant world. It is up to our own practices to get in touch with that feminine, collective side found deep within us.
Turning toward nature always gives me my dose of connectivity. While hiking through the cold, barren woods late last winter, I gravitated to the only green spot I knew. I practiced the following heart meditation as I let go of my mind.
Visualize green at your heart center. Breathe in the green glow through your heart. Focusing on the green glow, filling up your chest and then let go and exhale. Still focusing on the green glow, breathe in. FOCUS on the green glow and exhale. This practice may seem very simple, but I believe that by focusing on a color, a space and a feeling we are better able to let go of our minds and not think. Practice this beautiful heart chakra opener anywhere, possibly with eyes closed, or connect yourself deeply in a green spot in nature.
After quieting my mind and connecting with nature at the above green spot, I continued to walk through the woods. My mental state was shifted. I’ve had dreams that felt like reality, but this was reality feeling like a dream! Walking through the paths, with my mind quiet, heart guiding, set on receive, I gravitated to a fallen tree, only to find a partially chiseled message, speaking to me, to just Be.
Maybe you have a Loved one, or Loved ones to share Valentine’s Day with, but even if you don’t, lets all use this time to let go of our baggage, connect deeply within and then shine that out for others to receive. The other day I heard a guru share that your heart should be as soft as butter.
Valentine’s Day was not meant to be a “Be MY Valentine” type of day.
It all started with the simple message “From your Valentine.”
If you would like to open your heart with yoga, feel free to try these heart opening practices.
A 10 minute beginner heart opening practice:
(Have a folded blanket and block handy)
For the intermediate yogi, a 46 minute Heart Opening Chakra Flow from Grokker.com:
Create your free account and practice “Here!” (Have a block handy, as well.)
Open meltie buttery heart… Mmmmmmm.