Anjaneyāsana is an asana or yoga pose. The name Anjaneya is a matronymic (personal name) for Hanuman whose mother’s name is Anjani. Hanuman is a central figure in the epic Ramayana (an ancient Indian epic poem) and an important Ista-devata (cherished divinity) in devotional worship.

But if all of that is too much of a mouthful for you, then you just call it what I do: low lunge.

The place I practice yoga always has a monthly theme. This month of course it’s the heart. Low lunge is a great way to open your heart. There are many other poses that will do this including Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) and Sukhasana (Easy pose which can be really hard to do sometimes). There are several more, just do a Google search.

I love yoga! I try to go at least 4 times a week. I love that various poses will give you various benefits but I feel the overall benefit of yoga is the way it forces you to be with yourself. Well with yourself amongst a group of people. It’s where your thoughts have to take a backseat while you remember to breath through the poses. You become so focused on your breathing that you forget everything else.    

So if all goes well and my schedule isn’t interrupted, I could quite possibly take up to 16 classes this month trying to open my heart. And while my heart might be wide open by the time I leave, if I don’t hold the door open for someone walking in, then I have already closed it.

If I don’t say good moring to the ladies at the corner who make sure I am safe when I cross the street? – Closed heart. Roll my eyes at the new cashier because I’m in a hurry and am cursing myself for not using the self check out line? – Closed heart. I see a homeless person asking for money and I pass them by. After all, what’s my dollar going to do and why can’t that guy work? – Closed heart. I’m at an audition and my arch rival is there, too. I noticed she cut her hair and it looks sexy, but I’m not going to say anything to her. – Closed heart. I’m exhausted from that damn audition and I had a horrible read, so I’m going to sit on the subway and I don’t care who looks like they are going to keel over, I’m not getting up. – Closed heart.

In one day I have closed my heart off so many times, it’s a wonder I can breathe. And chances are, I can’t. I will bring this negative energy with me back to the house and the dog will have inevitably eaten something (probably my shoes) and the other one will have pissed. Negativity breeds negativity. I am in a foul mood, so everything and everyone I see will reflect that shit back to me.

Which is why I choose to be Snow White. Little birds floating off my shoes, as I dance with life which is nothing more than a giant adventure. Everyday goes according to how I choose it.  And I choose love. I consciously choose it. I have no other choice. When I am angry I see what that brings, so I make an effort to keep my heart open and give to others what I want in return.

It works most of the time. If it doesn’t, then I know it has nothing to do with me. Some people can’t accept love because they don’t love themselves. I don’t care if they think I’m a weirdo or some hippy chick that hugs trees. I just don’t. I know who I am, what I’m all about and I am not going to close my heart because someone has closed theirs.

But what most of us forget, is that an open heart is a broken heart. Mine has been broken many times. But I’m not going to let that stop me from loving. And I have loved greatly! A broken heart means you have loved. Which means you are capable of it.

Yeah, sometimes we take a chance and someone stomps all over our heart, but that doesn’t mean you continue to let them hurt you by closing it off to others. The right person knows what you’re bringing and honors it. They want that good stuff! That hot sugary mess! (I’m quoting AP Bio here-my new favorite show!)

If you close your heart, then you close your mind.  And once the mind gets involved those thoughts never stop coming. You have to feel your way with your heart. Your heart knows. It never lies. It’s that feeling you get despite what your mind tells you. It’s a surge of emotion, a giddiness, a stupid grin on your face for no reason at all and the part of you that allows yourself to dream about what the mind tells you is impossible.

Follow your heart. And if it’s not prompting you, then find a yoga studio so they can help you.

Happy Valentine’s Day! xo Gretchen



Published by

Gretchen Allison

I love learning new skills and honing ones I already have. When I'm not trying new things I'm going to auditions, which I never tire of. I am blessed to have representation from some very wonderful agents and recently signed with an amazing manager. I am also an avid supporter of National Mill Dog Rescue and Dogs In Danger and usually have a foster dog or cat around.

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