Break-ups – We all experience them. That love we think is going to last forever, but then it disappears in the blink of an eye and the trail of a tear. We kick and scream like children imagining we are fighting for something that belongs to us, something we have worked so hard for. As yogis we experience this pain on and off the mat. If you have gone through or are going through a break-up, like me, then sometimes in those moments of stillness on the mat (or even while working through an energetic Kriya) we find haunting memories and emotions that need to be released… and yoga is actually perfect to get over a break-up!
Do You Need To Get Over a Break-Up?
My own relationship fell apart a month ago. The man who I thought I would be with for the rest of my life sadly told me that he didn’t think he could “do this” anymore. We attempted to fix numerous trials in our relationship. Those trials inluded different perceptions, different forms of communication, and being long distance. And yet somehow we made it work for almost a year and a half (with a break-up in between). I noticed after that first break-up (and make-up) how much each person fights hard for the other one in the beginning. Both show that their love is true. Yet sometimes we forget and sometimes nothing’s good enough no matter how hard we try or how happy we want the other person to be with us. So, is it possible to work just as hard to release the very thing we fought so hard to hold onto?
The answer is YES!
Not only do we need to return to ourselves and realize what a beautiful gift we are, but we also need to return to recognizing the miracles in everyday life and realize that the other person, as well as ourselves, will be very happy on a different path. Sometimes that is easier said than done, which is why many of us utilize yoga to feel the emotions within us instead of blocking them. In order to release those emotions, here are two simple movements and a meditation to help you open your heart again:
1. The Washing Machine
This exercise not only helps release any built up emotions and tension, but it also helps to detoxify the adrenal system, opens up the lungs, and stretches the rib cage allowing for more breath. Imagine you are washing away what you don’t need anymore and creating more space for the things you would like to create in your life. Here is how it works:
- Sit in a cross-legged position with your spine long.
- Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears.
- Have your hands grab your shoulders (finger tips in front, thumbs on your back).
- Elbows should be up and back, parallel to the ground.
- Keep your eyes closed, eyes looking up to your forehead.
- Twist to the left and inhale, twist to the right and exhale.
Continue for 1-3 minutes.
2. The Spinal Flex
Yogic philosophy states “You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.” This exercise stretches and flexes your spine and opens the chest. In relationships sometimes we “bend until we break.” Let’s allow this exercise to be the one that makes us more flexible for ourselves and each other.
- Sit on your knees (or cross-legged). Place a blanket between your sit bones and ankles for additional support if needed.
- Keep your spine straight. Shoulders down and away from your ears.
- Hold onto your knees with your hands.
- Your head and neck should follow the natural movement of the spine for this.
- Inhale; arch the spine and your chest forward.
- Exhale, round the spine.
Continue for 1-3 Minutes
3. Meditate With These Mantras
It is said that this mantra brings protection, projection, and prosperity of the heart and consciousness. Meditate using this mantra (pronounce as written) for 3-11 minutes.
- Aad Guray Nameh (I bow to the Primal Guru)
- Jugaad Guray Nameh (I bow to the Truth that has existed through the ages)
- Sat Guray Nameh (I bow to True Wisdom)
- Siri Guroo Dayvay Nameh (I bow to the great Divine Wisdom)
Here is a beautiful way to use this mantra in a moving meditation as described by Y is for Yogini. I have used this meditation myself and found clarity and peace after this practice. Try it! To add this mantra to your own iTunes library, check out “Aad Guray Nameh” songs by musical artists Snatam Kaur, Jai-Jagdeesh, and Mirabai Ceiba. To get even more out of these exercises and meditation, try them for 40 continuous days. Notice fears, changes, and growth as the days progress. As always, I wish you happiness and wholeness on your path to healing. May all beings be filled with love and find acceptance within themselves. Sat nam!