The mark of a wild heart is living out the paradox of love in our lives. It’s the ability to be tough and tender, excited and scared, brave and afraid – all in the same moment.
It’s showing up in our vulnerability and our courage, being both fierce and kind.
When’s the last time someone has greeted you with a, “Hi, how’s your heart today?” instead of the typical, “How are you?” Every day we encounter and greet so many people: at work, filling up the car with gas or riding the train, at the post office, at home. The common greeting in our culture is, “How are you?” but how often do we pause to ponder this answer, to really feel into it? Is your auto-pilot to simply say, “I’m fine!”
Is that true? And if you often greet others in this way, how often are you pausing, being present with their reply and feeling like they are being honest?
What would our world be like if we looked a little deeper, and held each other in support of this inquiry, “No really, how IS my heart today?” I think often we don’t ask this question because maybe it is a bit more vulnerable to both ask and to honestly answer it. It’s hard to hold space for ourselves and others when things aren’t as simple as, “I’m fine!”
For many people, many days don’t feel fine. It is part of being a human! Life throws challenges at you, and in an effort to get through the day, do you sometimes shut off from connecting with your sweet and wise heart?
In this disconnected state, sadly, we aren’t giving ourselves the opportunity to really feel, and therefore process what’s coming up. And when we don’t process and digest our emotions, they get stored on our bodies. Did you know that the fist-sized muscle in your chest (your heart!) that weighs about 7-15 ounces works twice as hard as the leg muscles of a conditioned sprinter? That tiny powerhouse needs support to do its important work!
In the practice of yoga, a beautiful offering of support for your heart is a pose called Bridge. Unlike what the shape may appear to be, it’s not called Bridge pose because you look like a bridge when in the pose. In fact, it’s about creating a bridge that will carry you with more ease on the longest journey you’ll make in your life, the path from your head to your heart. Physically and energetically, bridge facilitates a deeper connection between these two vital aspects of your being.
In the early stages of my yoga journey, I heard the instruction to “open your heart” all the time. But something about all the expanding and opening felt incomplete for me. I needed stability and steadiness, a foundation from which to expand. Bridge is the perfect facilitator for this as you physically strengthen the back of your body. Building strength and stability behind your heart provides a safer place and solid foundation for your heart to soften and expand.
When you’re able to explore and hold this space for yourself, you’ll be more equipped to support those around you in a more powerful way. Taking time to connect with your body, your breath and your mind through the practice of yoga is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. So give your tender heart a bit of love and support today and build your bridge.