What does that mean? I hear it a lot in yoga classes…..open your heart, is there some door I haven’t found yet, some lock I don’t have the key to? Is my heart some gnarly tangle of branches that I can’t unwind? Is it closed??
After pondering these questions for some time, what I have discovered is that my heart is just fine, if I get out of the way. I was recently studying with my teacher Patty Townsend and we were all about the heart. The heart at the center of our being. Why do we “think” the brain is in charge? It is the hole in the center of the wheel that allows it to function. It is the space in the center that forges the relationship.
Our heart formed first, not brain. Space actually opened up and “heart” stuff grew into it. Space grows into the structure, heart grows into the space. I’ve seen it animated in play-doh. They used more technical terms than “stuff”. The heart is a beautiful spiral drawn into the body. Pumping our blood, heart is everywhere. Instead of trying to think our way through a problem, relationship, question, circumstance, situation…..could we just feel what we feel? Could it be that our heart is never not open? Can we simply observe what comes up in our yoga practice, notice and feel without judgment? We are keenly aware of the impermanent nature of things. But, when it comes to our thoughts, we stick to them like glue. They are immovable objects. We can override feelings and sensation with so much thinking, tireless thinking.
Richard Freeman talks about how our relationships and our beliefs about the world have a direct effect on the deep sensations in our body that link into our emotions and perception. What we think can literally manifest into body sensation and circumstance. Don’t throw away the mind, it has its purpose too, but remember it isn’t the only muscle to flex.
Feel your body, feel what you feel, feel your heart. Sometimes, notice the space in between the thoughts instead of the thoughts themselves. Sometimes, notice what you feel in your body and then just feel it, without a story.
And for goodness sakes, don’t believe everything you think.