The life lessons learned in yoga are endless. One basic concept that seems very relevant this holiday season is to live with an open heart.
On the surface this seems easy. To be nice to everyone, helping others to feel happy and encouraging peace between all living things should happen naturally. Allowing others inside my heart is not as simple. By sharing myself with others I know I am releasing thoughts, feelings and heartache that otherwise would be painfully kept inside. Although hard, the outcome is almost always positive.
Physically and energetically a backbend is an amazing pose to open the heart. I am guilty of often carrying a worry, insult or dilemma on my chest for way too long. Opening ones heart literally and figuratively releases the negativity being held by the body and mind. The result is a lightness and freedom that is ideal for enjoying winter.
I remember in a yoga class years ago a woman began crying during bridge pose. She had been dealing with a death in the family and wasn't able to accept and release her grief until her heart actually opened. It was truly incredible to witness.
Giving to the less fortunate is a great way to open the heart this time of year. My kids will be donating some of their toys to Toys for Tots. I am hoping at a young age my children will see the joy they are giving to others as well as themselves as their hearts open.
In addition, we are supporting The Bundle of Joy Diaper Drive. To provide struggling mothers with diapers for their babies is necessary. These new lives wearing soiled and unsanitary diapers and developing infections because their parents cannot afford clean diapers is heartbreaking. By opening our hearts to this organization, we are opening their hearts to hope and possibility for the future.
Ultimately we all want to fulfill our desire for happiness, what better time to begin then now.