Thursday, November 5, 2009

Becoming Unbound

I usually see my yoga teacher on Thursday evenings but tonight is Bonfire Night here in the UK and we go to my parents’ for a party (more on that tomorrow I hope!) so I went last night instead. We are currently working through the chakras, one chakra a week so I really didn’t want to miss a week. Last night was Anahata Chakra, the heart centre. Practices for opening the heart, working into the chest, ribcage and shoulders.

As the practice began I felt a lot of resistance. And I mean A LOT. I haven’t felt that much resistance in a practice for years. My ego was wild with crazy thoughts (and not very yogic ones at that). As many of you know I suffer from an upper thoracic scoliosis, right about where Anahata is which results in a lot of shoulder stiffness and I suspected that this was the source of the resistance. So I stopped thinking about Anahata per se and started thinking about how I always feel I need to work into that part of my back. How I need to focus on straightness, strength and opening there.

And then somewhere during Ardha Chandrasana something snapped and the resistance just fell away and I SOARED!! Suddenly I felt remarkable, like I could do anything. And for the first time in a long time the permanent dull ache of scoliosis just…. disappeared!

One of the translations of Anahata is “Unbound” and that is exactly how I felt – as though all the tension in my upper back and ribcage had just come undone.

I drove home from class with a smile on my face that has just not been there in recent days (things have been a bit tough at home recently).

And then I got home and the cat peed on the beanbag and life went back to normal again!

I do still feel good today although I have a strange hungover feeling (as I haven’t had alcohol in months I am presuming the practice has had a detoxing effect on me), but this experience has made me remember one thing. I have never had any problem finding bliss, especially when it comes to my yoga practice, but I find it so difficult to maintain that bliss off my mat. And I think, if I get a chance, this might be what I write up for Blisschick’s latest project.

6 comments:

Eco Yogini said...

what a fantastic idea. :)

interesting that you 'crashed' from your experience...

I recently discovered about the 5th of November and UK's bonfire celebrations! very fun :)

Simone Icough said...

Hi Rachael I had Scoliosis surgery 20 years and now have a Harrington Rod from T5 to L1. I like to do Yoga for my Scoliosis but sometimes this is not always possible.

I am now living in Spain and there are not many bonfire nights happening here :) We had a curry instead! LOL

@EcoYogini do you know the history behind bonfire night? The celebrations are fun now but in 1605 the gunpowder plot was planned by Guy Fawkes. Their aim was to displace Protestant rule by blowing up the Houses of Parliament while King James I and the entire Protestant, and even most of the Catholic, aristocracy and nobility were inside. The conspirators saw this as a necessary reaction to the systematic discrimination against English Catholics. He was captured before the explosion, due to an anonymous warning letter :)

Simone Icough said...

Sorry Rachael, I emant to say "I had Scoliosis surgery 20 years ago!"

Jan said...

Rachel,
This must have been such a wonderful experience to feel this release! I love your awareness that the bliss you seek is latent within. Wish more of us could remember that on ongoing basis. Even when life kicks in, back to "normal" as you say, the bliss is still there.

And I concur that the yuck feelings can come from detox. Yoga sure has that effect on me. Stirs things up and sometimes I feel awful afterwards!. :-) Deep breathing rounds can help with some of that, reoxygenates the body, water too. Tons of water to flush. May we OM on!

Rachel said...

Ecoyogini - Sometimes but not often I do crash after a very intense practice. I just see it as part of the journey.

Simone - thanks for stopping by - it's good to meet another "scoli-yogi" :)

Jan - I just need to keep reminding myself that the bliss is ALWAYS there - even when things get tough :)

rand(om) bites said...

How funny, I focused on Anahat Chakra last night as well. It’s such a powerful chakra. I love this post, the sense of “becoming unbound” and soaring. It’s amazing seeing the progression and being able to identify what or where your resistance is coming from. Sometimes it’s not so clear. LOL and yes, I sometimes feel like I’m hungover after an intense practise as well, a natural high. My friend and I have to hold each other up sometimes which is a good look when walking down the street but I think we can only appreciate where this kind of after effect comes from :-)