In this excerpt from the newly released edition of The Art of Attention, Elena Brower and her coauthor Erica Jagoembody MC Yogi's wise words on the practice of forgiveness in a tender asana sequence.
Forgiveness doesn’t always happen right away, but the process can begin immediately. Actively engaging in the forgiveness process begins our journey toward deeper understanding, and the remembrance that everything happens for a reason. When we’re able to extract wisdom from our past dramas and traumas, we’re able to gain direct knowledge. Looking back, we can become grateful for the things that happened to us in the past, for helping us to grow and become more aware.
The art of attention and the cultivation of compassion can often take a great deal of work, but it’s important to remember that this work is extremely rewarding. When we forgive, we feel ten times lighter. We’re able to think and see more clearly, and we can gain greater access to the storehouse of energy that’s inside us (and all around us). Energy that was once being consumed by the past can now become an open resource (re-Source) for living more fully in the present.
When we forgive ourselves and others, the entire orchestrated universe conspires to help support our healing process. The forgiveness process can also be very humbling; we know that there’s most likely someone out there who needs to forgive us as well.
When we start to gather wisdom from our experiences, the yogis suggest that this process is similar to a bee that gathers pollen to make nectar. The bee is said to take a little poison along with the pollen, and when it’s brought to the hive, it’s carefully transformed into nectar. Learning to turn a negative situation into pure wisdom is an indication that we are progressing in our yoga and meditation practices. As we become more skillful agents of love and compassion, the heavy load that we’ve lugged around in the back of our mind begins to soften and gradually dissolves. When we’re able to reach the place of gratitude in our forgiveness process, we’ll know we’ve made it through to the other side.
Watch Elena Brower's Introduction to the Sequence
13 Yoga Poses for Forgiveness
Elena Brower is the author of Art of Attention, a renowned yoga workbook, now translated into five languages. Studying and teaching since 1998, she's respected globally for her distinct blend of alignment and attention in her teaching of yoga and meditation. Her audio meditation coursework, Cultivating Spiritual Intelligence, is beloved for its accessibility and relevance, and her yoga teaching is influenced by several traditions including Katonah Yoga, Kundalini and ParaYoga. Elena is also the founder of Teach.yoga, a global website for teachers, and her second book, Practice You, will be published in 2018 by Sounds True. Practices with Elena can be found on YogaGlo.com.