Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Opening to Grace on Bed Rest

Open to Grace is the first principle of Anusara Yoga. It's physical applications include lengthening the side bodies, expanding into the back body, and having a good foundation with earth. To me emotionally open to grace has a lot to do with trust. It is taking a deep breath in, feeling my feet on the floor and trusting that everything is going to be okay.

I got put on bed rest last week in my 34th week of pregnancy from a big bleed. I am no longer able to practice physical asana but I am amazed how much strength I find by working the universal principles of alignment off of my yoga mat and in my bed and in my head. They say Open to grace is the most important principle and its the one you keep going back to over and over again. That's how I feel, I will establish an attitude of open to grace and a minute later it is gone and I have to bring myself back to it and then maybe 5 minutes later it is gone and I bring myself back to it. It is a practice of remembrance. Of remembering that I don't want to feel totally scared and all alone. I want to feel connected, loved and safe. These are the feeling I get when I trust the universal and open myself to Grace.

Being pregnant really takes you into the front of your body. If you think of a pregnant women her belly sticks out forwards, her boobs get bigger pulling her forward and her head is often forward along with her thigh bones. Everything is pulling her into the front of her body. The front body represents the "I" and the individual self. I know I can get really wrapped up in myself. What is going on with me, my baby, my body, my family, my future... When my head gets full of me, myself and I the world gets smaller, I start to run on fears + desires and I start to feel disconnected from others.

Although pregnancy physically pulls the body more into the front plan what you cant see is how much strength is coming from the back body. The low back supports the growing uterus and prevents her from falling over in all that misalignment, her upper back muscles are strong from holding up those boobs and the back of her legs are extra powerful from carrying around all that extra weight. The back of the body represent the Universal. When I feel myself get stuck in my head and in the front of my body I have been pausing to remind myself how strong the back of my body is especially during pregnancy. I can just settle down and rest in that strength and the remembrance that no matter what happens everything is going to be okay. That I am supported by so much: Grace, friends, family, doctors, muscles, yoga... When I shift from front body to back body I feel many changes. My skin and brain feel like they soften, I stand up taller within myself, and my breath becomes deeper and fills in the back of my waistline up to the back of my kidneys. This kind of breath feels like I am making an offering and bow to my own heart and to Grace.

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