Yogi Assignment: Receptivity
This week’s Yogi Assignment is Receptivity. Some things in yoga may seem a bit hokey, such as feeling the energy body or tuning in to your heart. While at other times yoga may feel too intense, almost like the practice demands more from you than you have to give. Your job as the student is to cultivate a teachable spirit. What this means is sometimes being open and receptive to things that at first seem way outside of your comfort zone. While you should never blindly follow anyone (including your yoga teacher) over a cliff, the essence of the student’s journey begins with being open to learning something new. It is so often the things that are out of your comfort zone that offer the most potential for growth.
There are two ways I’d like you to think about Receptivity this week. First, on the interpersonal front, keep your heart open. For those of you who are skeptical by nature, cultivating a receptive heart may be a leap of faith. We tend to develop a thick shell around the heart after we’ve been hurt by other. It can then feel really scary to trust anyone again.
I’m someone who throws myself in heart-first and I tend to trust everyone until I’m given a reason not to. It has made me gullible and allowed me to be taken advantage of, but it has also meant that my heart is wide open to the world. This Labrador-retriever mentality of mine has gotten me into trouble more than a few times and I’ve had this big heart of mine broken. Each time I’m hurt there is a temptation to shut down and play the victim, but my practice keeps me centered. Instead of closing down and hardening, the yoga practice asks you to soften and drown down. Lean into the hurt and go through it until your reach forgiveness. Remain open and receptive in your heart despite whatever circumstances may be effecting you.
Second, in your practice be willing to try something new. Whether it’s a new style of yoga, a new pose or just some softener technique, keep an open mind and go with the flow. Try a different video on OmStars.com or go to a different class.
The longer you’ve been practicing the harder it is to remain teachable. We get set in our ways. Keeping a flexible mind means being nimble in spirit. Be willing to let go of the old and try something new. If you’re the master of your own problems no one can help you. But if you’re willing to listen and learn you may just save yourself a lot of heartache and have a little fun along the way!
I’m right here with you on the journey. My heart has been hurt recently and I’m working on processing it all while remaining open. I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck doing the same thing in my practice for awhile and now I’m trying out a new shoulder position for handstands press. If it goes well, I hope to share with you soon. Share your thoughts with me on IG and hashtag #YogiAssignment so I see them!