Open Hearted through Yoganosis
Well, firstly they are the greatest tools that I have in my kit bag for life. They have seen me through the many trials and tribulations that life has thrown at me. They have been with me for over ten years now and I can safely say that I don’t think I would be here today with out them. I had my first hypnotherapy aged 21 at my peak of “shitness”. Post aneroxia and in the depths of bulimia and depression. Unable to get out of bed, let alone be social, hold down a job, or do any of the crazy things 21 year olds are supposed to do.
Putting yoga and hypnotherpay together, I know what physical yoga postures we need to do to get to an openhearted, free place, but it got me thinking as to what it truly means to feel open hearted on an emotional level.
The first words that came to mind were…open, confident, fearless and trusting. From those places we get to experience the love, joy and peace of an open heart. The image that came to mind was of my four year old nephew. He is open hearted, right there in his blondle bubbly being. He is so bright and trusting, into everything, exploring, the world, so inquisitve, completely fearless. I see children like him on the ski slopes shooting past me, completely fearless, whilst I faff about at the top of the slope looking for an easier way down, one that’s less steep and less scary. I love watching children when they are learning to walk, they are coming from and open hearted place. Arms spalyed wide, heart leading them as they stumble forward, but the green light is on and they are off. They stumble and fall but they pick themselves up again, the try things then fail, but then they try again and they succeed. Its in that process that the growth happens. Ages is 3-7 is when you grow the most on a developmental level in your entire life. I want to be like that four year old, constantly pushing my boundaries and growing and evolving as a human being here on this planet.
So what is it that we have as children that enables us to be so fearless and free that we then lose as we get older, grumpier and more closed? In my eyes its life situations that close us down. But thats where we have a choice as to whether we let them shut us down or whether we use them to open us up even further. Remembering that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and that nothing is sent that we are not formed by nature to bare.
To grasp this concept of being open and closed on both physical and emotional level, try something for me. Take a moment now to imagine how you might hold your body if you were about to be physically beaten up. Not such a great image I know but bare with me. You’d probably be hunched over, closed in the front of your body, protecting your vital organs and having the strongest part of your body , your back, exposed to the the threat. This is a natural instint to close up. Its easy to see on a physical level and just as we close up on in our bodies when we are threatened we do the exact same thing on an emotional level.
Your heart over the years gets beaten. Life can be tough. Whether its loss of a loved one, a betrayal, a death, a boss that constrantly tells you how you are not good enough, or you telling yourself that you are not good enough, the list is endless of the negative ways that our hearts can be treated. Either way its like taking a big baseball bat and repeatedly bashing your heart. Of course its going to close up. No growth comes from that place, why would we, we are fearful and untrusting and its safer to stay closed. But that place is like being stuck in a rut and a rut is a grave with the end knocked out.
On that emotional level then, what has helped me is changing the self talk I give myself and surrounding my self with positive people. My self talk has been and can be brutal, but everyday I try to keep it chirpy positive and happy. Repeating postive affirmations…I am happy and healthy, I am loved, I am powerful. Nothing fancy but I tell you the stuff works. It’s a little bit like wanting a withered, dried out plant to grow and blossom. What do we do? We nourish it with a little bit of sunlight and a sprinkling of water. You can think of the positivity being the sunlight and a good dose of healing hypnotherapy the water. Perfect combination for heart healing.
Then on the physical level, I think that’s where yoga really comes into its own. I have this idea that yoga fluffs us up. Those times when we are feeling dank, heavy, lethargic and uninspired yoga comes along and ruffles our feathers, it helps us to feel free, open and confident in our bodies and minds. It puts a spring in our step and that is a truly sweet place to living from.
From my own personal experience, which is the only place I can speak from, the times when I have been completely closed on all levels unable to engage with anything or anyone, yoga has been my saviour. What does it do for me? First and foremost it gives me strength. It gives me a physically ft and strong body. It’s almost as if my heart is supported by this strong body that surrounds it. The heart then knows it can relax as its being held by my body beneath it. So even when my heart gets challenge and wobbles off centre it knows its got support beneath it which helps bring it back on course. Secondly, the practise then gives my confidence. Like the young child trying new things, failing at first but then succeeded, you try new postures which at first seem challenging and then after practise, sweat and persistence, things come. With those achievements come confidence. You then ask yourself “ I couldn’t do that before and now I can, what else is possible”. The comfort zone begins to expand and that’s where the magic happens. When was the last time you did something for the first time and pushed yourself out of your comfort zone?
The confidence on the mat can then be taken off the mat into the wider world. With that we start to develop this sense of trust. Because we know that whatever life and universe throws at us we’ll be able to handle it. I find myself saying “Bring it on!”.
Join me and be like that child running around, green light on, heart free, exploring, trying, failing and achieving, living, and really knowing what it is to be human… open, confident, fearless and trusting.
About the Author : Laura Bell is a yoga teacher in North Wales, UK and has been practising yoga for ten years. She is the founder of a company called The Zest Life, where the philosophy is about discovering ways to help you find and feel your zest for life. Throughout the year she runs yoga classes, themed workshops and lifestyle retreats at beautiful locations in Wales. Find her on Facebook and Twitter and stay connected to living the zest life.