Posted by: Bruce Black | September 1, 2017

Melting the Walls of Separation

Something strange happens the moment I step onto my mat: I no longer feel like I’m standing alone.

I press my toes into the mat and can feel a surge of energy flowing through my muscles, sinews, and bones, connecting me to the people in my yoga class who have arranged their mats around mine.

Even when I practice at home—when the view out my bedroom window gives onto a tangled backyard jungle of trees and plants with no one else in sight—I feel the same connection to others as I make my way through the poses of that day’s practice.

How does this happen?

How does yoga help me step outside my solitude and connect with others?

How does standing motionless in Mountain Pose, or twisting and bending into Triangle Pose, melt the walls that separate me from others?

What I’ve come to understand through yoga is that we feel alone when we lose our sense of connectedness with the invisible force of energy pulsing through the universe. Yoga is one of the tools that can bring us in touch with this energy as it flows through each of us.

For years I was unable to feel this energy as it flowed through me. Somehow I had lost my ability to feel its force. I had let myself become numb, or else it was frozen inside me, and I was unaware that I had lost touch with it. In its place were layers of anger, doubt, frustration, and resentment that had built up over the years and which had kept me from seeing a link between my life and the lives of others.

Now, though, yoga helps me feel more alive, as if each pose thaws emotions that have kept me frozen for years. When I practice Downward Dog or Warrior II or Tree Pose, I can feel this flow of energy returning, running through my veins and pulsating through my muscles, coming back into focus.

Even after years of practice, I must admit that I still fear being alone, afraid of being separated from others. Luckily, my yoga practice reminds me that even when I’m alone, I’m still connected to others and to a continuous, life-affirming flow of energy vibrating through the universe. Clouds, stars, sky, sun, earth—all pulse with life-affirming energy, just as each of us pulses with the same energy of life.

It’s easy amidst life’s daily frustrations and challenges to forget how we’re linked to one another and that this energy flows through and around each of us every moment of our lives.

Fortunately, yoga can remind us that we are connected to one another, and that no one has to suffer the pain or loneliness of standing alone.

Mindfulness Practice: While standing on your mat in a room by yourself, gently close your eyes and try to imagine a flow of energy pulsing through you. Without moving, notice the way blood flows through your veins and how oxygen fills your lungs. Inhale and exhale ten times, deepening your breath with each inhalation. Now open your eyes. Do you feel a greater connection through your breath and the beating of your heart to a flow of energy pulsating through you (and the universe)? Has your sense of standing alone changed? Try doing a few yoga poses (or just lift your arms slowly over your head and then lower them to your sides again). How do you feel afterward—more alone or connected to something larger than yourself? Write: 10 min.

 

 

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Responses

  1. thank you so much for the read made me re think my practice which needs motivation….

    • Glad to hear you’re exploring different ways of finding motivation. Sometimes just a few minutes of resting with legs up the wall is enough to motivate me to practice. Good luck!

  2. Great mindful moment, Bruce! Namaste.

    • Thanks, Lyn, for stopping by. Namaste.


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