As you know, when we move throughout our day we often run into “road blocks.”
Road blocks are those pesky situations where we feel beside ourselves. Where we feel the need to protect ourselves, to pull in or put up walls. Maybe it’s a “Huge Project” at work that has you anxious because there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to get it done. Done right. Done well. And, done on time. Not happening, right. In comes the flood of stress – heart pumping, shoulders tensing, belly tightening.
Been there, done that. And, in my case sweets to sooth the belly nervousness. Adding insult to the injury!
Or maybe, it’s a friend you haven’t spoken with throughout this whole Covid ordeal and you feel like you’ve been forgotten, rejected, or you don’t belong.
Or it’s a creative project you’ve taken on and you are keeping it all to yourself because of the worry that comes or embarrassment you feel when you think about sharing it with others. What will they think? It’s not good enough. I’m not very creative.
Essentially, we hide.
In a physical sense, when we pull in and protect ourselves, we cover the front of our bodies. This place where our organs and our hearts are exposed. Our shoulders round and slump and our heads look down. Our posture reflects our feelings.
Emotionally, we hide. We hide from those around us. We hide from the world.
We have all been here a time or two (or three or four).
Opening into vulnerability
The beauty about summoning the courage to meeting our vulnerability and walking through it - is that there is joy, love and belonging on the other side. Brene Brown says that Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, belonging, love and joy! I want some of that.
So what does opening to vulnerability look like?
In asana practice, it’s backbends, large and small. It’s opening the front of the body that we so instinctively protect. Rodney Yee teaches us opening to vulnerability “is a willingness to fall in balance poses, to lose control in backbends, to feel unprotected on a physical level, and to challenge the survival mechanisms of your body. We may feel uncomfortable in backbends because backbends challenge our natural inclination to pull in and protect our soft spots.
From an emotional perspective, Brene Brown teaches us that opening into vulnerability is taking a risk to be the first to call not knowing what the outcome will be. Its feeling our emotions without any guarantees, and walking through them. It’s sharing your creative talents with others. It’s letting people see you, really see you – warts and all. I love this – What makes you vulnerable is what makes you beautiful!
Rodney Yee observed in his many years of teaching that a lot of people are doing yoga with a sense of performance but with no sense of vulnerability. So instead of saying “I can’t” when presented with an unusual pose or a pose that presents more of a perceived challenge, take a step. Give it a try. Make a modification that suits your ability. Stay positive. Be willing to wiggle or fall. It doesn’t matter if a pose isn’t perfect. What matters is that we try.
To feel vulnerable means you’re alive (Brene Brown)!
Let’s muster up our courage, our strength and take a few steps to meet vulnerability and walk through it - together. Let’s live and love with our whole hearts and feel alive. One vulnerable step at a time.
See you in practice.
Blessings and Namaste,
**inspired by Rodney Yee and Brene Brown.
Listen to Brene Brown's Ted Talk about vulnerability here: