We hear about laughter yoga, goat yoga, hot and cool yoga but rarely have I hear about crying yoga and yet, I do it all the time.
We are taught early on in our yoga practise that the most important act of yoga is showing up. It is after all why we are here. We – our spiritual essence of soul and being – has shown up on Earth for the medicine of being human. As yogis, we show up on our mats to remember and connect with all that we are.
Yoga – too often loosely translated as union – is however still a process and a practise of unification. We come to the mat to connect to our breath and allow it to guide us into our bodies. By focusing on our breath we begin to quiet the mind and its persistent mechanism of thought. Typically the mind circulates the same 60,000-100,000 thoughts a day and it continues along this hamster wheel of “thinking” as long as we don’t find a way to interrupt the flow. If we do not reflect upon our own minds’ thought, we will continue to “think” the thoughts of society and call them our own. Becoming hte observer of our thoughts allows us to see that thoughts are a kind of “material energy” that can be used to liberate or enslave the thinker. When roughly 87% of the population gets its information from mainstream media and news sources, programmed thinking isn’t hard to find. It isn’t easy, which is why most of us avoid it.
Yoga offers many physical benefits but unlike other physical practices, it asks us to focus first and continuously on our breath. Synchronising out movements with the breath, unification between body, mind and spirit may begin its spirally path. It can be a beautiful and transformative experience. It can clear our entire energy fields and bring fresh energy into our chakra system – the wheels that power our entire system.
Yoga works so well to heal and restore people’s bodies and minds but few understand why and how it has the power the to do this for we can stretch in a thousand different ways without the same effect. Yoga – first and foremost – is a system of aligning our chakras – those fantastic wheels of energy of which we have many throughout our “bodies”.
I do not pretend to understand it all because that is not the point. The point is the experience as it opens us to the experience of life, remembering who we are and why we came here. At some point our souls made a decision to show up – yoga helps us remember why and it isn’t always easy to accept.
Now is not an easy time on Earth. Now is a time of rebirth for collective consciousness too long held in the dark by forces against life. Yoga has survived the tests of time and many yogis have been charged with bringing yoga to the West where we so desperately needed it.
Yoga can be a truly joyous experience. The relief of physical ailments that plague some of us for years are released in simple poses and twists. Kundalini yoga may open the body to an expanded state of awareness, energizing us for days with light and fusion with light forces from within. Mantras may bring us out of our mental prisons of incessant, repetitive thought and release us from the worst kind. But there are days, even weeks when I cannot get through a sun salutation without immediately bursting into tears. There are days when showing up on my mat means crying yoga. A time to release the pressures of an ecstatically beautiful world in turmoil and chaotic rebirth.
There are days when I cannot pull myself off the mat – as if the cosmos has opened a space for me, the size of my mat to release in the arms of the Goddess who knows all to well the suffering humans have caused themselves and each other – and I sit or lay and release. I release the pain, the fear, the sadness and the sorrow.
Just like giving brith to a child, facing the world we live in requires courage. Bravery is a muscle that requires constant practise. When we realize that we are the ones who have damaged so much of the Earth, then we know we area the ones to repair it. When we take responsibility for our lives by stepping on the mat, we let go of the idea that “someone” – god or otherwise – will fix it for us. When we ground and connect with our Mother, the Earth, we discover that just like a tree, we must stand tall and breathe in order to grow. When we lay down in Savasana and “die”, we remember that we could not take our next breath if the universe didn’t agree to give it us. Life is one cosmic breath expressed in an entire cosmology of cycles. Every inhale is an expansion of our space within which allows more ether to enter, more light to reach our cells and inform them.
We are breathed as much as we breathe. What an honour it is to be given this life we, as a humanity and GUARDIANS of the Earth, have desperately failed to protect and guard.
I sit on my mat and I cry. My tears flow…