Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring cleaning of the heart

There's an aspect to this blog that feels a little bit like cheating, since I go to class, am totally inspired, then come home and write about what I heard. It's not like I made it up, like I'm the clever, sweet, deep creature who strung these thoughts together in the first place. Nope, that's Laura, almost always. Me, I'm just the scribe. But I get so excited about what I hear, the words take up residence, that I can't not write about it, share it out to those of you who don't have the great privilege of laying your mat down in front of my teacher. Really, I owe her a daily debt of gratitude for which there are not enough words in all the combined human and non-human languages -- but I still try, in the language I know best.

Last night's class delivered, as usual, the precise message I most needed to hear. Laura introduced the malas of which there are three. The malas provide handy names for the ways in which we become cut off from our own truth, from a sense of connection, from our own power. We talk about the malas as dust on the mirror of the heart. The point of the yoga is always to clean the mirror, to show us what is already and always there -- the heart.

We spent last night with anavamala, the veil that cloaks iccha or intention, the heart, leading to a feeling that something is missing, a feeling of lack. It is the very opposite of fullness, a diminishment. And boy, could I relate, wasn't I really feeling the effects of anavamala after the crash-and-burn Tuesday I had at work, which lingered on in a prevailing sense of sorrow. How to clear the anavamala? Lots of chest openers, shoulders up and back, inner body bright, shoulder blades lifting the heart forward. But mostly a reminder to see the shimmer, as Laura put it, within yourself and within others and everywhere around you. It's there.

It was truly a spring cleaning of the heart. I know I felt bigger,taller, fuller, connected, all the accumulated dross of the week gone, heart bright and shiny, by the end of class. Now all I have to do is stay on top of that dusting, something I know my friends and teacher will help me with, and this fresh, just-cleaned feeling will hang around a bit longer.

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