Yoga is a practice that opens us physically. It should also be a practice that opens us mentally.
We begin each Bikram class with pranayama breathing to open our lungs and chest. We open our hips with triangle pose, we release our spine, shoulders, knees, ankles… by the end of 90 minutes we have systemically opened every part of our body.
This openness however, should go far beyond our physical being. As we move though yoga asanas we can observe the ways our actions influence our own emotional state. We learn through regular practice that we can change aspects of ourselves. We discover that our limits are not fixed. We experience being part of a community. All these things should move and inspire us to greater openness in our lives: emotional, intellectual and spiritual.
Openness means taking the wisdom of yoga into our relationships and daily interactions. It means being soft, strong, disciplined, persistent and kind with our friends, lovers, colleagues, children, and enemies.
Openness is strong and positive. It means accepting difficulties with patience and handling conflict with grace. Openness enables us to see things from other people’s point of view while maintaining our perspective. It is not just a physical state, it is a way of relating to the world.
Next time you’re in class, think about opening your whole being – mind body and spirit – to whatever the day holds.
How does yoga help you stay open? Share in the comments?