Archive for ‘forgiveness’

June 19, 2014

Falling Out of Love with Yoga

by mandy lipka

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Every once in a while, it happens.

I fall out of love with my yoga practice.

And for the first few days, weeks, sometimes months, my mindfulness depletes– my glass lowers to mindless– and I start playing the “should” game. I should be breathing more and sitting less. I should increase my home practice when I can’t get to the studio. I should start meditating during the work day to alleviate stress. And so it goes…

In every meditation class I’ve taken, it’s a lesson learned. We must stop focusing on how it should feel, what we think we should happen, how often we should practice. And, you know, bring a little compassion into being mindful of ourselves. Sometimes all it takes is a moment to come back to ourselves… to our breath.

After a few weeks of more-than-usual melancholy (yes, of course, I’m feeling the effects of Merc retro), my most common stressor reared its ugly head again. I took a breath, checked the time, and realized I was only steps away from a sanctuary. To my bright-side surprise, I would make it in time for my most peaceful and wholesome yoga class.

A few things changed in the studio (including a sub) that at first, had me out of water. It only took a few deep and equal Ujjayi breaths in my beloved Supta Baddha Konasana before my breathing got deeper, longer, and the world washed away.

I set my intention: Come back to myself.

Nearly halfway through the class, it occurred to me how good this felt. My hip flexors open, my psoas juicy, my sacrum releasing deep tension. Plenty of oxytocin flowing. Damn, this feels good. So good I could feel my ladybits joining in the fun… It’s like amazing make-up sex but even more satisfying for the soul.

When you say something like [I love you] with your whole being, not just with your mouth or your intellect, it can transform the world. – Thich Nhat Hanh

As the class came to an end and I breathed into my feet up the wall, I felt a tingling in my toes, vibrations in the soles; and with a blanketing in-breath of lavender, it hit me…

Tonight, I came back to myself.

Photo credit: HalfMoonYoga.org

September 30, 2013

Masculine Spirituality & Forgiveness

by mandy lipka

A dear male friend is experiencing some deep suffering. Often at times, I’m at a loss for words, but he finds comfort in my listening. In a quest for some reinforcing passages and daily mindful reminders, I revisited The Hidden Spirituality of Men by Matthew Fox for guidance and found this:

Having learned to let go, the warrior does not harbor resentments or become motivated by revenge to chase after others. Forgiveness, another word for letting go, is learned drip by drip, day by day, not as an act of altruism but as a necessary cleansing of the past, a purification of our souls so we can live and function effectively in the now. The soul does not grow into its potential fullness when it harbors past hurt and turns it over and over. This is the way to grow bitterness, not soul. The warrior is committed to growing the heart and soul, not freezing it in the puny size it was yesterday or in years past. Here too discipline is needed, even sacrifice, when offering a burnt soul, a soul burnt by the betrayal of life, whether self-induced or not. The warrior learns to live beyond betrayal, neither denying it nor dwelling on it. Beyond betrayal. Beyond the pain of broken love and bleeding relationships and misunderstood communications and unfulfilled yearnings. The warrior has undergone the deep purification of longing that is the lesson learned in the schoolhouse the mystics call the dark night of the soul. He or she does not run from the darkness, but enters it, overcoming the fear of the dark as well as the fear of the light.

Universally powerful, isn’t it?

May all beings find forgiveness.