Yoga for the Sensitive Soul

Nicole Markardt
Yoga for the Sensitive Soul

As I enter the space where I will guide my morning yoga class, I deeply inhale as I begin grounding my energy. I slow my breathing and release anything that I may have carried into this space.

The collective energy that will be created in class begins with me.

As a sensitive soul, I must ground and meditate before I teach. I absorb energy as a paintbrush absorbs color. It penetrates my heart as sensations awaken within.

A sensitive soul possesses many beautiful qualities such as creativity, elevated intuition, and empathy, which make sensitive souls well-suited for spiritual paths, higher learning, and being of service to others. It can also be exhausting and requires important tools to help us preserve our energy.

We are part of this complex human landscape which can, at times, be extraordinarily painful. Yoga practice can provide endless healing for the sensitive body and mind.

Grounding

As class begins, we all take a comfortable seat. Practicing ujjayi breathing, we commit to this breath technique and set an intention for our practice. Our intention may be a number of things: to release something we’ve been holding onto, to create space for something that we wish to let into our lives or an offering of strength to someone who needs it.

As we practice our breathing technique, we focus our inhalations on drawing in our intention and focus our exhalations on releasing anything that does not serve their manifestation. This part of class is lovely and a beautiful practice before beginning any endeavor for a sensitive soul.

Observing the Breath

As we push our limits in more challenging postures, we often abandon the breath. We withhold. We begin to hold our life force back and this is when we suffer. When we need the power of our breath and its calming effects the most, we almost instantly withhold it. It’s one of the greatest challenges in yoga practice.

I am certain to remind myself of this in my day to day life as a sensitive soul. The opposite is also true if we force ourselves to breathe too quickly or begin to mouth-breathe. We can become too winded and our heart begins to race. Long, even breaths are what we strive for in the most challenging moments of our practice, and our challenges in yoga practice often reveal our struggles in our lives off of the yoga mat.

As a sensitive soul, withholding is extremely difficult for me. I wear my joy and my pain outside of me for all to see. Yogic breathing has revealed exactly where I need practice.

Seeking Others Who Nurture Connection

I don't have many acquaintances. There is not a lot of room for a halfway mark with me. When I connect, I feel it instantly. I open. Small talk drains me. I begin to feel fatigued and a bit anxious. I want to hear about one's childhood, their fears, what brought them to this space in time.

When I connect, I will hold space for my beloved and gaze in wonder with them at all of the ridiculous challenges of being human. I will love them with all of my heart. That's what living and loving feels like for me and so many others like me.

There is a sensual longing for communion with others, freedom in that space to reveal my shadows, and souls who honor the depths of ever-expanding awareness. The coming together of souls like ours is magic. This opening is inspiring and an adventure in and of itself.

We Are More Than a Physical Body

Part of being a highly sensitive soul is feeling very intensely. Our nervous system can become overwhelmed and exhausted as we distinguish which energies are ours, and which belong to those around us.

This is where tuning in to our heart, our spirit, and our higher self is crucial. During challenging yoga poses, the more we practice, we learn to come out of our physical body and meditate on the state of our mind. Holding balancing postures is a great practice in stepping out of our physical sensations and into a more meditative mindset.

Observing the body becomes possible. We are no longer at the mercy of its physical sensations.

Patience

Personal growth is an unending process, so patience with oneself is crucial. I instantly soften around women who have patience with their own growth and who trust in their progress.

Sensitivity, like yoga, is a beautiful journey of self realization and evolution. ~Nicole Markardt

Our yoga practice constantly shifts with the flow of our energy. There may be a pose that continues to elude us or a pose that we feel we’ve mastered, on a particular day, we suddenly feel like a beginner again. As we journey through our practice, we learn that the journey is where we grow — there is no destination in yoga.

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.” ― Frida Kahlo