river flowing forward
darkness falls back
I am on my mat. Body bent in child’s pose, forehead touching mat, posterior reaching for heels, arms outstretched above my head. Torso pressing down towards the earth.
I am a supplicant bowing before the altar. I am a priestess offering up her prayers. I am hot and sweaty and I am crying.
They are unexpected these tears. Not particularly welcome either. Who cries in a yoga class?
My eldest daughter tells me it’s not unusual. Yoga touches the core. At the core, emotions flow and when released, can express themselves through tears.
Yeah? Well I don’t cry in public.
Good thing my forehead is pressed to the mat. Good thing I’m sweating so profusely. No one will be able to see my tears.
I replay the teacher’s words through my mind once again.
“The body needs the mind to be engaged. They need each other for strength, courage, balance…. Where the mind goes, the body follows.”
Even as I type the words, I can feel the emotional tug of recognition, remembrance, awakening.
My body and my mind. I have treated them as separate. Independent. They have continually battled for voice. To be heard. To be recognized. To be known — as independent. The mind fighting for control, the body fighting to lead the way, to take charge, to be in charge.
Connect. Make peace. Body bows to mind. Mind makes way for body.
I imagine a bridge. Water flowing beneath. My mind wants to take the bridge, the route of safety. My body wants to swim. To immerse itself in the raging waters and go with the flow.
From above, the water looks dangerous. “Do not go in,” my know-it-all mind cautions. “You do not know what lies within. The current is too strong. You might drown.” And then it adds for good measure, “Someone built that bridge to make it easier. Why not take the path of least resistance?”
“I will never know what lies within if I do not venture,” my dare-it-all body responds, desperately trying to break free of mind’s control. “Anyone can cross a bridge. But to swim across, to tempt the fates, to venture into the depths, to discover what’s really there, ahhh, that takes courage. Fortitude. A spirit of adventure. A willingness to risk.”
“The bridge is there for a reason,” mind parries back. “The object is to reach the other side. It doesn’t matter how you get there, what matters is you get there.”
“I disagree,” yells body. “You always decide where we’re going but I am the one who carries us there. I am the one who decides how we take the journey.”
And they duke it out on the safe side of the river, the distant shore forgotten in their fight for freedom from one another.
And the water keeps flowing and I keep holding back from stepping away from the shore where I am comfortable in what I know to be true. Whether I step onto the bridge, or enter the waters, it isn’t about how I take the journey, it is that I take it with mind and body engaged, each one supporting, loving, carrying and caring for the other.
To live means to risk. It requires stepping into the unknown. Pushing against boundaries, forging new trails.
Many years ago, Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.”
And I remember what I have forgotten in my flight and fight to get to the other side.
On the journey, no matter where I am going, there is only one thing that carries me across, through and over. There is only one thing I need to carry to wade into the waters or step onto the safety of the bridge.
In Love, I am safe no matter where I go or how I travel.
In Love, body and mind travel united.
In Love, all things are possible.
I bent my head to the mat. Tears flowed and I found myself once again, flowing in Love.
probably one of your best – as in ‘most moving’ in a long time
yes, me offering you superlatives …
this morning you richly deserve it
as for the waterworks, I understand the best ways to disguise that are to walk in the rain or swim in a pool
have a lovely day, and don’t sweat the small stuff like some tears – celebrate the growth and clarity that takes you through your fears
thanks Mark! Superlatives indeed. Must be that second cup of coffee…. 🙂
Hope your day is filled with growth and clarity too — with or without tears!
Louise, I think that of all the beautiful posts I’ve read by you, this one holds me captive most. Perhaps it is the timing of your post, but this one touches me deeply to my core (which happens often when I read your blog). But this one, I needed this post today and I am grateful for our amazing connection. Thank you for the gentle reminder. Love. ♥
I too am grateful for our amazing connection Gina — What a wondrous gift to connect and be held captive in the presence of Love. Blessings my friend.
This bridge is love. LOVE!
So powerful Jodi — LOVE! Hugs
Louise, this is awesome! I’d love to share a yoga perspective.
When people have tears in yoga it is an emotional release that comes from our prana or life force unblocking a granthi or knot within us. We may not know what it is, but our body knows and lets it open to this flow and release. Prana is the bridge between the mind and physical body.
It is energy. It is feelings and emotions. It is all good. It represents love and consciousness.
I believe that this is the life force that is the essence of our being and every living thing on earth.
By being vulnerable you just tapped into something wondrous!
I am so happy for you to experience this energy and love.
Val! thank you for the yoga perspective. How affirming and releasing! I love the concept that Prana is the bridge between mind and physical body — and love is what carries me across.
thank you my friend for sharing your perspective. Hugs
I am glad I came and read this thank you a bloody great post
And I am glad to see you here Joanne — thank you! I can hear you saying, ‘bloody great post’ — it makes me smile! 🙂 Hugs
So true, Louise. I’ve found similar experiences when meditating (not unlike yoga really) . It seems we can’t go deeper until those emotions have freedom to cry, laugh, get angry, etc. Then we are free to go to that special union within; that union of love..
Your posts are so special… (Hugs)
In some ways Carolyn, it is like here, a union of minds connecting through invisible threads yet connecting — and it’s all about Love. Love your special way of being! Hugs