Often when I'm teaching a Yoga class I will remind students (especially when they are attempting to be in the splits), that the tightness they're experiencing in their bodies is not an obstacle to flexibility, but an opening. The awareness of tightness/tension being present, is the beginning of flexibility being created. When we feel this tightness in our bodies, our first instinct is usually to back away from it or avoid it. It is not comfortable and the mind almost immediately begins to feel distressed.
At this point the teacher usually reminds us to breathe into the tightness of the uncomfortable stretch we feel screaming back at us in our bodies. As we begin to breathe and allow the tightness to be there, something amazing begins to happen. The breath we're breathing begins to relax our mind and our instinctive re-activeness, and we begin to feel the body start to open up and let go of the tightness. As we allow ourselves to stay in the splits, we begin to discover that if we just allow ourselves to breathe, then the stretch we're in actually starts to feel good. Before we know it, we come into the splits again and again seeking relief from the tightness and tension within our bodies...
Life can often feel like being in the splits. There are times when we feel emotionally split apart, insecure, doubtful, and faithless toward our own self and Creator. We find ourselves wrestling with what is and struggling to comprehend how it can be so bad, painful, unhappy and miserable. We resist feeling whatever is going on inside of us and feel like it's never going to get better.
These feelings are the awakening, not the obstacle. Each time we find ourselves feeling pulled apart, uncertain of all that is and how to get out of what we're in, this is actually the moment we're being put back together. It is the transformation of ourselves into a new way of thinking and Being.
The truth is we were split apart long before we became aware of the tension or distress being within us. Inflexibility is when we have no feeling and are not even attempting to stretch ourselves. The moment we come into a stretch and become aware of tightness, that's flexibility, that's the opening up. So, next time you find yourself in the splits, whether it's in Yoga class or in an emotional, mental or spiritual challenge in your life, remember to allow yourself to breathe into it, the breath is the Life Force which heals and opens up the obstacles to the body, mind and spirit. Remember that no matter how bad it feels, if you can remember to breathe into yourself with the intention of healing whatever you're feeling, it can only get better…
(A beautiful writing by Leanne Hall)
"May You enjoy every moment of your 'openness' on and out of your yoga mat"
with much love