“Hip Openers for Peace”

Desiree Rumbaugh, in the afternoon break-out session on hip openers yesterday, referenced the earlier teachings at the gathering on love, and said with a giggle that her class was “hip openers for peace.”

She shared a story of a teacher having his students create pictures representing peace. He picked two images that best depicted peace. The first was a serene picture of a mirror lake in the mountains (not unlike the tantric yoga principle of using our practice to find in ourselves the mirror of divine spirit). The second was of a barren and craggy landscape with a stormy sky. In a corner of the painting, though, was a nest with a small bird singing. Amidst challenge and chaos, one being living peacefully and joyously. This is why we do yoga, suggested Desiree, to find our own place of peace amidst whatever chaos is life. Noting how challenging hip openers can be for body and mind, especially if our bodies feel tight, she said that the practice can be like the second picture. We want to learn how to feel calm and centered even when we are deeply challenging ourselves on the mat, so we can tap into that place when life gets harder than we think we can bear.

The technology she offered for finding peace in hip openers was not tricks for stretching, but rather to strengthen the core muscles so that the outer hips and the hamstrings do not need to clench to protect themselves. When the core is powerful (as John Friend would say, “adamantine”) then the outside can soften and be open to what comes. This principle, in my experience and as given by my teachers, holds equally true for facing life and the most challenging of yoga poses.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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