Three Stages to Open Your Heart

By |November 16th, 2015|Todd Norian, Yoga Off the Mat|2 Comments|

On November 8th, in Portland, Maine, after 7 months of dedicated study and practice, 22 radiant yogis graduated from the Ashaya Yoga® 200-Hour Teacher Training. I am so proud of them and know that this world is brighter and better place because of all of the work they did on themselves.

I want to share with you the teachings from the final morning sadhana practice in Portland that flowed with such elegance and deep meaning for me.

The essence of yoga is love. Love is accessed in the heart. But the heart is so tender and vulnerable that it quickly protects itself against pain and closes down. Although it’s safer to live with a protected heart, the protected heart isolates us from others and, more importantly, from our own self. This is the pain that increases pain and suffering. We need to learn how to open our heart in order to experience the flow of grace. Grace is always flowing whether we are open to it or not. Living with an open and vulnerable heart is also painful since we feel everything more fully – both pain and joy. But this is the pain that heals the pain.

Yoga is the practice of learning how to “tenderize” the heart such that we know how much to open up and how much to maintain our boundaries. In Tantra we learn that in order to unbind ourselves we need to bind ourselves. That is, we need to create healthy self-boundaries and know our limits in order to maintain and sustain our freedom.

We live in a universe of “cosmic forgiveness”. The universe is constantly forgiving you. Forgiveness is its nature. But it’s difficult to get to forgiveness due to the […]