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How I heal my heart through backbends

Actualizado: 5 may 2022

Every time I’m bending backwards, I feel a resistance that wants to take control of me.

Some years ago I started to understand this resistance. I can see some place in my mind where exists the belief that there is not space in my spine, the belief that it is going to hurt.

If I engage with that feeling, my back gets tense, the muscles contract more than necessary, and it starts hurting, I start breathing superficially hence my chest gets contracted, the muscles in my chest are tense, which results in a very limited and painful backbend.

Fortunately, by observing this tendency, I got to understand that I just needed to transcend the fear of feeling.

Opening the heart means to feel, to be vulnerable, to be opened. And when we open ourselves we are afraid of being hurt. Same as the fear of feeling pain was actually creating physical pain, the fear of being emotionally hurt, actually attracts that which could makes us feeling hurt.

Why? How? How is that the fear of being hurt can actually make me feel hurt?

It’s very simple! When we are afraid we breath superficially, we contract our chest which creates a shrunken posture, projecting an insecure and self conscious person. Also, when we are afraid we can’t show the beauty of our heart, because the chest is literally closed, so we become a mask of protection. If someone tries to approach to us in this state, they will get expelled by the impossibility of connecting with us, because a closed heart is not able to feel the feelings. Do you get it?

We all go through experiences in life that make us learn to shield our hearts, but it’s up to us to stay there or transcending them.

When I do a backbend I see the imprint of many life experiences I’ve had and the tendency of protecting my heart. But then I also see that the opposite state exists within me, and I see how good it makes me feel to feel the feelings. By opening the heart I literally avoid pain on my back and I transcend the fear of feeling!

But how do I open my heart?

It is all about the breath!

I use my breath in a conscious and deep way. I use a thoracic breathing and lift all my inner organs up by engaging the abdominis transversus muscle which enables the rib cage to expand and to be lifted up. I literally use the breath to separate the rib cage from the pelvis, hence creating space between my vertebras. Finally, I bring my attention to my shoulder blades and I imagine they are sinking inside of my body lifting my chest up.

Once the rib cage is lifted like this, the chest has no other option than to surrender and open. The shields are broken.

Then, the most important step to consider is the moment after practicing a backbend. For me that’s the key to receive the nectar of the posture. I bring my hands to my heart. I breath deeply and enjoy whatever I’m feeling, even if what I’m feeling comes with tears, I enjoy it with a smile as if I was trying the most delicious honey, and remind myself that I’m safe and protected, I remind myself that I’m capable of loving… and that feeling surpasses anything I can express with words.

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