What is love? (Baby don't hurt me...)

If you didn't get that title, I really am getting old...

When I teach a class, I grapple with the material first. I look at it from a thousand different angles; I poke at it. This means that it's a lot of work being my friend sometimes. Example: This week, I'm preparing a class on the heart center. I was talking with one of my greatest confidantes about a book I'm reading on the subject. It was before 9am, when I exclaimed, "What does unconditional love mean with respect to <insert complicated life situation>?!?!" See? This is the kind of question I'm going to lob at you before you've had your coffee. Namaste.

We talk a lot about the heart center in yoga. That's because it's said to be the home of the atman (or our highest self and source of greatest wisdom). In yoga, we are trying to unite with this source of wisdom within us. That's the whole point of all the postures, breathwork, and OMing; all roads lead to rOMe, er, atman .  I've meditated on my heart, listened to my heart, talked to my heart, felt my heart beating, felt my heart skipping (kundalini?), sent love to <insert everything from trees to penguins to people> from my heart, been so present to my sadness and longing that sometimes my heart actually aches a little.

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Still, sometimes even little ol' yoga teacher me gets caught up and gets a virus and forgets that all of these practices are aimed at helping me lead a richer life off  the mat. This is a really great time to make a love list and open your beautiful little eyes to the big world around you. That's what I did.

And I found love:

  • A man with a puppy stops what he is doing, puts down his half-dozen grocery bags, and holds the pup so that a small boy in a wheelchair could pet him. You should have seen the resulting smile.
  • One of my best friends understands that I am just feeling too crummy to go on the road trip we had planned. She writes that she will check on me in a few days.
  • I attend the yoga class of a new teacher and watch as the teacher's parents excitedly file into the room and diligently try to follow every instruction. They smile at each other as they do something new and they smile at their daughter with such pride. 
  • After a maniac driver nearly took me out in a crosswalk (and then yelled "DUMMY!"... I felt that part was especially unnecessary given that I had the walk sign), a friendly car pulls over and checks to make sure I am OK. 
  • An elderly couple, dressed almost identically, walk to the store together every day. They still hold hands.
  • My husband selflessly supports my ambition to begin my yoga therapist training. He helps me scrape together the money to attend even though it means sacrifice on his part. He gets nearly as excited as I do when I officially register.
  • My dear old cat licks my face with her little sandpaper tongue as I cry. 
  • I begin to reconnect with an old friend I thought I'd lost. I realize the gigantic power of both forgiving and being forgiven. I realize forgiveness can sometimes be quiet and eventual and totally unassuming.
  • A mom waits for her children's school bus and is so unbelievably excited to see them each and every day. 
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This is one week. This is love to me. Make your own list? Promise it will make you feel happier. And then come to practice where we will explore how yoga can open up the heart to all this juicy love all around you. See you Saturday morning at 8:30 or Sunday evening at 6pm.  Check my schedule for all the details.

You are loved more than you know.