Today in yoga I became deeply aware of the dance of tension between my mind and body. I am only learning this lesson because I have to. After many experiences with somatic therapies, letting my body speak volumes about my life, my feelings, my experiences, I got it, in real time, that anger and hatred = tension.
In a day like any other, someone’s breathing began to irritate me. Loud, unskilled mouth breathing. Happens almost every class. This time, I noticed my desire to make it stop and my socially appropriate knowledge that it was not my job to do that. I pictured myself speaking up in front of 60 people and I just knew: I have to face this irritation within me.
The annoying breath is a metaphor, an archetypal force, representing everything that I cannot control and, thus, fear. There were lyrics in an old, old Leonard Cohen song I used to sing in coffeehouses:
“It seems you must leave everything that you cannot control.
It begins with your body but soon it comes round to your soul.”
So many of us are suffering. Almost everyone I know has a “bad back” or a “sour stomach” — a spasm somewhere in the body that is screaming I HATE THIS! I REALLY REALLY HATE THIS _______.
It is only the surrender to accept that releases the tension. No amount of God, or god, or medication or support groups or meditation can fix this. The solution is in honoring the pain the body has created and then, with a bow, saying, “I am angry.” Or “I am scared.” Or “I wish things were different.”
Whatever the voice of your tension is, please share it with someone. Perhaps you can send it off into the comments section here. I am listening. I won’t judge.