In my previous post I linked to an interview
with yoga teacher Seane Corn
, and I was so profoundly moved by her words that I thought I'd focus a bit more on it today. If you haven't had a chance to listen to the clip in its entirety I highly suggest you do so if you can find a few minutes (I did my laundry to it today - hurray for multitasking). In it, she speaks of her own experiences struggling with past sexual abuse and OCD, and discusses how yoga served as a tool to connect to her body and help her heal.
“I believe culturally we’re addicted to our tension and we use it as a way to control our big feelings," Seane says in her chat with Speaking Of Faith host Krista Tippett
. "So if I can put a block of energy around me, I don’t have to deal with my rage or my fear.”
I found this statement profound in terms of my own struggle with grief and anger following my mom's cancer diagnosis. Yoga helped me break through a lot of my own tension and drama to begin to address the current of emotion running underneath. Often this drama becomes our identity, and serves to distract us from the larger issues or emotions at hand. Our yoga practice focuses our inner gaze on our truths - the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Corne connects this experience to her relationship to god. While the "g word" is often a touchy subject, I thought her statement on connecting to the divine through feelings was applicable regardless of one's spiritual belief. "You can't get to god through your head," she says. "...For me, I've only been able to get to god through my heart. Not through what I know but to what I feel. Because feelings lead to surrender. And surrender allows you to step into that unknown state where there's a different level of acceptance to what is, rather than what you're choosing it to be. So for me, you release the tension, it opens you up to feelings, feelings connect to surrender, and suddenly you're hearing with a new ear, that moves beyond human interpretation but to spiritual perception which is infinite and limitless."
According to Corne, "the practice of yoga is love." Simple, but true. Through asana, meditation and pranayama we can begin to carve out a loving relationship with ourselves. Remember, a yoga practice doesn't necessarily have to be a sweaty, 90-minute vinyasa class. Simply take a moment to sit where you are, close your eyes, and connect with your breath. In that stillness, everything comes alive. You are love. Breath it in and exhale it out into the world.
With love and gratitude for you dear yogis and yoginis,