Opening the Heart

In yoga, it is believed that the hips are the emotional energy center of the body. The place where all of the past pain and trauma accumulates, clogging our well-being like leaves in a gutter.

And I think yoga is onto something.

For the most part, I gravitate towards an active practice, vinyassas that leave me sweaty and panting with muscles trembling from the challenge.

But those are the easy classes for me.

The hard?

Yin hips.

Yin is a form of yoga where you move your body into a particular shape or pose and then you hold the pose for an extended period of time, often somewhere between 4 and 10 minutes. The poses themselves are not difficult. In fact, they are designed so that you can maintain them with a minimum of energy.

So what makes yin hips so difficult?

The mind.

For the first two minutes or so of a pose, I’m simply learning to drop in. Feeling the edges of the stretch and focusing on my breath. And then inevitably, I realize that I’m gripping. Tightening where I should be releasing. And I start to consciously let go.

And it’s difficult. The hips spring back at the slightest suggestion of “Too much; I can’t do this.” from my mind. It’s as though they’re afraid of release. Afraid of letting go.

And so I breathe. And tell myself it’s okay. I can let go.

And by the time I uncurl myself from the form, I can feel structural changes in my hips. An openness where once there was only a blockade.

A freedom.

It’s a lesson that has to be repeated at regular intervals. Left to their own devices, my hips yet again contract and withdraw. Hiding from the fear of the pain and the discomfort of release.

And so I remind them again that happiness is found in the softening and accepting, not in the false whispers of hiding and protecting.

In yoga, it is believed that the hips hold our emotions. That there is a direct line between the hips and the heart. And I think they’re onto something.

Because opening the hips is exactly like opening the heart.

And it is at once the most challenging and the most rewarding exercise of all.


Thank you for sharing!

10 thoughts on “Opening the Heart

  1. SassaFrassTheFeisty – Indianapolis, IN – I'm a mother of two-mostly amazing-kids. This is my journey towards healing from the ruin of my marriage and 10 year relationship to my kid's "dad", my stories of dealing with really good and really bad days, learning to cope and move on. I have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 1 with mania and ADHD-look! Something shiny!!-and Postpartum Depression. I love completely and passionately. Just don't piss me off, because I'll burn that bridge-and I'll stand on it and watch the flames consume everything. Sass 101 First-As my name suggests I am a Feisty Lil Thang. I tell it like it is. It is no holds barred on my blog. If you expect fluffy puppies, rainbows and sunshine, exit Stage Right because it ain't gonna be here. If you expect no cussing and positivity, and that I pray to a God or deity, exit Stage Left. That's not here either. What's here is real, honest, raw and truthful. This is my journey through the last 18 months from the separation of my husband and the JOYOUS roller coaster my family has been on. Oh yes, I did forget to mention-I am a sarcastic quick witted one. Sasscasm is trademarked by the ever Butch Blah. Don't mess with her Dragon, he eats assholes for breakfast. We have a tribe here that is very exclusive-seriously. If you're lucky enough to enter, you are worthy enough to partake in our Femme Speak. If not, just nod your head yes, and move on. I have Bipolar 1 with mania and I cycle into depression 2 times a year. This year has been an exception to the rule considering this year has just been shit. I've been to my local psych hospital twice in less than 10 months-once for depression, once for a psychotic episode resulting from over medication. YAY! Piss on that shit. If it hadn't been for Blah, I never would have gone. Thank you Blah. I lurve you! I have 2 kids-a boy I call NSLM-Not So Little Man-because Anxious Mom has her LM. Didn't want to steal her LM's thunder :) And I have a daughter referred to as Monkey-it's self explanatory. They are also referred to as my Heathens-yes I can call them that because I gave birth to them, I know them and they act like Heathens at times-just thank the Good Lord they aren't Hellians or I'd be in jail. I have an almost 5 year old purebred Red and Black German Shepherd named May-she's momma's baby, and Monkey is on her THRID guinea pig in about a year-thank her dad for that one. This one is S'mores and he's a wheeker and fat and fluffy. My kids and I live with my parents, because I'm not stable or healthy enough to work and live on my own. I have FINALLY found my magic pill cocktail-for now-and I have clarity for the first time in my life. I no longer use the word "stable" I use baseline. I've been on a lot of meds over the years, and since the last med I was on and overmedicated I have become med sensitive-SUPER YAY. I'm good at recognizing side effects and can tweak a med time better than a dr. Not cocky, just fact. I'm that in tune with my body. I'm also very emotionally charged. My emotions have always ruled my decisions, and I don't see that changing, but I am now better to stop and think things through before making a decision-some of the time. I'm mouthy, but I have a huge heart of gold, and I get hurt easily. And when I talk about people on here in my life off of WordPress they get their own special nicknames. DB-Douchebag. BBFL-Best Bitch For Life-My best friend in Alaska that I HOPE I get to see soon. EG-English Gentleman-a guy that I've bee talking to for a year that lives near Scotland and is on an 8 month trip around the world, and will be stateside in January. I can't wait to meet him in person! Cute Neighbor Guy. There were two guys that were named for the states they lived in, and I think I've deleted everything about Florida but the last post-Thank you Andrew for the title, you brilliant dictionary, you. Then there are my most supportive friends here: Anxious Mom, Andi, Zoe, Diane, Morgue, Blah, Chris, Sparkly Pants ;) Victo, Tessa, Bipolarfirst, bp7o9, Vic, Kitt, Leslie, and my newest BUDDY Andrew. I know I've forgotten some people and I SERIOUSLY apologize given the state of my brain haze, I hope you don't hate me!! I know you don't, I'm just overly dramatic. No I'm not...yeah, yes I am. ;) So, if you can't handle my sarcastic tongue and my cursing that can make sailors blush, the lobby exit is in the top right corner with a little X. That being said, I hope you new arrivals aren't just looking for blogs for numbers-this isn't that kind of blog. And I rather like interactive people on my little slice of the crazy pie-well, more like peach cobbler because it's my favorite but ANYWAY. I don't follow back just because you follow me. I may not be too picky about my food, but I'm picky about my men and the blogs I follow. With that, I shall bid you Welcome to Sasstopia, and may you stay to be among my Sassafrains. Reggie my Pegacorn is tethered out back as he doesn't do well with new people. I shall be shining my spork launcher on the table, next to my melon baller and grapefruit spoon all soaked in syphilis. If you have any questions, fucking ask. I don't do vague. LOVE YOU! <3
    sassafrassthefeisty says:

    I just started my long stretches again in the hopes of integrating yoga into it. Although I am not one that can do these in silence, I use music to help me calm and feel my way through my body. And those hips-boy they don’t lie! I am ready feeling calmer, less heavy physically and emotionally and mentally. I even did them outside this morning in the sun and it was marvelous.

  2. “The place where all past pain and trauma accumulates”. That is extremely interesting. During this journey through he’ll, also known as family law, every time I ended up in court, or have to deal with my attorney, my back injury flares up (happened just a few days ago when I received my attorney latest bill). Have you found that yoga helps?

    1. Yoga has been an integral part of my journey. Not only did it help to manage the physical symptoms of stress, it taught me how to breathe through discomfort and not tense up in the face of pain. Hope the back feels better soon!

  3. I need to try adding Yin to my mindfulness meditation practice. I need more practice in not holding on tight, to letting go. Thank you! This was very poignant for me and came at just the right time, thank you thank you!!

Leave a ReplyCancel reply