Yoga…Backbends…Tears…Middle Fingers…but hey…Learning – Hallelujah!

Have you ever sensed that you’re absolutely right about something and feel the need to force your ideas upon other people?  Hopefully you don’t.  Because it’s really not fun.

To help you understand a bit of what I experienced last night, you might find it helpful to watch this quick 2 minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B96MECaX1I

I had watched a video about a guy named Ryan Leier who decided to become a yoga instructor after experiencing a 10 minute back bend.  While my sister and mom were watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show, I decided to test out my own version of this back bend on a red rubber ball.  Lying on this ball for about 5 minutes until the show ended, I came out the pose with my arms feeling tingly.  My thoughts were also a bit muddled, and I did anything but a good job communicating what I had just done to my mom and sister.  Saying something like, “It was a pose I learned from a guy who had priest teach him yoga,” my words were not well received or understood nearly as well as they’d be understood if they seen the video about Ryan Leier.

After my sister threw in a couple jabs about priests teaching yoga, I felt the need to show her the video and bring her into the light of understanding.  The video touched me deeply, so the last thing I wanted was to skew its meaning.  However, my desire to do this was not so much a gentle, caring, consideration but much more of a forceful request.  I addressed her misunderstanding of the yoga posture and the priest and insisted that she watch the video so that her skewed conception would be cleared up.  When I first watched the video, I was thoroughly moved, as you might be too, and so the last thing I wanted was for someone to hear about the video but think of it as some weird ritual rather than a touching moment of honesty and connection.

My sister was planning to leave after I mentioned showing her the video, but she would have none of it.  At this point, I was determined.   I ran upstairs, snagged my laptop off my chair, ran back downstairs and plopped myself right in front of the doorway, sitting cross-legged, booting up the computer and racing to play the video.

Without having her full attention, I began to play the video, turning the sound all the way.  She proceeded to shield the screen from her vision and said she didn’t want to see the video now.  She also said something like, “You’re going to have to respect my request to not watch this video now.  I’ll watch it another time but just not now.”  To which I replied, “I do respect your request, but your misunderstanding of the situation hurts me and I don’t want you to leave without having these weird ideas you have cleared up.”

She refused.  I continued to play the video, feeling very upset that she was going to leave while drastically misinterpreting the premise for the video.  Meanwhile I decided to flick her off, saying, “Do you know what this means? It doesn’t mean anything other than the meaning you attach to it.  Normally I prefer the peace sign, but right now, this seems more appropriate.”  Of course, I didn’t let her leave without telling her that I love her, although I didn’t hear reciprocation.

Oh, and, right after she left, tears poured through my eyes for a solid 5 minutes. I felt incredibly guilty and ineffective at doing any good.  Then, in a flash, I said, “I am responsible,” and it hit me that the river of tears was exactly what the guy talks about experiencing after holding the backbend.  At that point, laughter ensued.  It all made sense!

Ok, interesting story…what’s the point?

Or…better question…what did you learn?

  1. Our bodies are mysterious.  Not sure what science would be able to tell you that holding a backbend for 5-10 minutes would catalyze a Niagara of tears flowing from the eyeballs, but hey – it happened.  And I didn’t even do the full backbend!  Of course, don’t take my word for it.  Try it out!  Crying once in a while is probably healthy, right?  We eat too much salt anyway.
  2. If you’re going to test your body by holding a pose for a long time, be aware that it may cause your emotions to flip, so be extra cautious.  Especially if you heard that it caused a grown man to cry for 20 minutes, perhaps choose to not be around other people when you do it.  Or, issue a warning.
  3. Breathing is important. So is Love, Peace, and Joy.  At no time during my tirade against my sister or the flow of tears was I thinking about my breath, Higher Principles, or Faith.   It was all very ego-centered thinking, and as a result it caused a lot of short-term pain and suffering.  If we gain control of our own minds such that we choose to experience Peace of Mind and align constantly with our own understanding of goodness, emotional outbursts and anger will be rare.  The key is to remember.  Only when we forget about all the gifts we’ve been given, all the goodness throughout our lives, all the people we love, all the treasures…only when we forget about the Miracle of Creation and the awesomeness of this moment…only when we forget do we suffer.  When we remember, we are golden 🙂

As painful as the experience was in the short-term, I now feel much stronger, more capable, and more aware.  In so much as I’ve learned from the pain and found meaning in the suffering, it was an incredibly valuable experience, and for that, I am grateful! Hallelujah!

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