In my yoga classes there is a pose, uttkatasana (chair pose), that some of my loyal students have hilariously dubbed the guns and ex-husband pose. It’s a challenging pose that works the entire body in opposite directions and can evoke a lot of negative emotion. It obviously does for me as I bring up, out loud, some of the most negative circumstances of my life while I am in this pose.
Let me be clear, right off the bat, that I don’t think the expression of negative emotion is a bad thing, even in a yoga class. In fact, the yoga I practice can loosen up a lot of, for lack of a better description, seriously tough stuff. And being aware of this residual negative energy, in spite of how much it might upset me, is a really, really good thing. Ultimately, if I stay in uttkatasana, express and breathe through the pain that I am feeling in the pose, it will help me to be able to relieve my mind, body and spirit of damaging tension, resistance and a lot of ugly pain. Uttkatasana is an outward expression of the potential for inward transformation. It can also strengthen my quads and abs, and increase flexibility in my shoulders, and has.
So tonight, I encountered some uttkatasana moments off the mat with two of my children who are particularly challenged by some of the choices I’ve made for myself with regard to their father. It was pretty painful for a while and my mind wanted to flee and get out of the situation. Nevertheless, I hung in there, stuck to my guns, articulated my position and breathed into my hurting heart.
And as a result, I became stronger; able to reveal the beauty of who I am in spite of the tension and discomfort surrounding the situation. I listened, told them I loved them both, and fairly quietly stood my ground and believed in the essence of who I had become. This way of being is so fresh and new for me, off the mat, that I can only assume that it is the power and dedication to my practice on the mat that has helped me to reach such a graceful resolution.
I love and believe in the transformative power of yoga. I have been a grateful recipient of its awesome, mysterious gifts. I hope that I am able to help others access their own ability to open to grace, become unstuck and move themselves forward in such a way that peace, prosperity and happiness become the abundant heart-filled themes of their own lives.