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Love is Still The Answer

On Mon, Feb 14, 2022, 5:28 PM Kundalini Yoga in Detroit Andrea Fiondo <> wrote:

Sat Nam, and welcome in.

February 14, today as I write, is St. Valentine’s Day, a hallmark-type holiday meant to be about giving and receiving Love, but it can end up with us having all sorts of feelings about falling short of the mark.

Let me explain. In my corner of the world, I only have one recognizable word to express feelings of love: Love. Never mind that love is a terrifically complex emotion. There are, as you have surmised if you have reached a certain age, all sorts of love. There are perhaps eight distinct (ancient) Greek words for love, a quick Google search will reveal: Agape (unconditional love), Eros (erotic love), Ludus (infatuation, and Mania which is obsessive love), Philautia (self-love), Philia (sincere friendship), Pragma (eternal, mature, loyal love requiring effort and compromise) and Storge (intimate, family love, such as parental love, or "brother/sister" love.). I can think of more. I love chocolate. I love going to the museum. I love football. I love people I've just met. I love cats. I love this necklace. Each is a bit different. But I digress. Many children’s ideas about love revolve around parental love, or its falling short. But perhaps the first time s/he’s introduced to romantic love, and Valentine’s Day, is in elementary school. Remember? Perhaps you had a progressive teacher or school that mandated everyone be treated equally, maybe not. Either way, there was a measuring of sorts. Who’s loved? Who’s not? Why and why not? What is love? What is lovable?

And lifelong patterns around the thinking/feeling about LOVE begin to solidify and restrict. Walls are built around our hearts. These patterns color our skies, so to speak, with clouds. What was once a blank sky becomes cloudy with subjective ideas. Part of the society/culture that helps us create our ego, (here meant to mean "the persona" that exists as an unconscious actor—the ego is in control of our state of doing/being when we act unconsciously), the celebration of holidays like this one draw us into old patterns of seeing the world—through cloudy filters. So this week, my students and I are lending a bit of light to these filters. It’s our choice, once we know that we do not have to be a slave to our patterns, to return again and again to the same thoughts and feelings that determine our persona, or to create new responses to our triggers. How are we doing this, shining light on the clouds in our skies? While you can't reinvent yourself in an afternoon (can you?), you can open your mind to different ways of seeing the world very easily. There is a kriya called Getting the Body out of Distress, which lends itself beautifully to extension and expression. Not all the kriyas lend themselves to stopping and relishing each posture, but the qi gong aspects of the postures are easily extended and examined, with the aim to elevate the practitioner. During one particular exercise, for instance, we are tapping our chests.

Here I lend a bit of a guided imagery on the energy of love from hands to heart. At the end of the two minute mark, I say something like this: Love your chest. Love your ribs. Love your boobs (even for men I say boobs). Come to rest with your hands on your chest. Think: I love myself. I’ve been with myself for as long as I can remember—and I’m not going anywhere. And, I forgive myself. Sure, I’ve made mistakes, but it’s okay. I’m still here. I’m still able to love, and be loved. I stand behind me 100%. It’s okay, self, you did the best you could. Don’t worry, we got this. I got you. I got you. I got you. I absolutely love you. You keep do-ing and be-ing. I'll always be right here. Or something like that, it comes out differently every time. This yoga we do, it’s so much more than kriyas I take from a book. It’s so much more than gaining strength and flexibility. It’s so much more than breathing techniques, and guided meditation. It’s a physical, mental and spiritual practice by YOU. Please understand: I’m not professing to be a spiritual teacher; I’m here to provide the space and the inspiration for you to be your own guru. I learn as much from you as you might from me. And, I promise, we have some real fun along the way. Sat Nam. Hope to see you soon!

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