Over the course of my life, I’ve come to develop a deep respect for my heart on so many levels.
The human heart is incredibly resilient.
Physically, when referring to the tissues that comprise the organ itself, it’s a muscle that has to contract with precise timing more than 115,000 times every single day – all without you even having to think about it and without a moment’s rest.
The fullness of your life relies heavily on this one organ’s ability to carry on in spite of everything it’s subjected to. Through stress, lack of sleep, and intense physical efforts, your heart rises to the challenge. Time and time again, it meets the demand being placed upon it — a demand it never chose for itself but always seems to take in stride.
But on the more subtle, non-physical levels, the heart’s ability to endure is even more profound.
In the face of seemingly-insurmountable obstacles, the human heart can thrive. It has the ability to heal heartache deeper than any flesh wound. To lose everything and find the will to rebuild again.
To endure unimaginable hurt from loved ones and still somehow find the strength to go on loving. To feel the pain of the hard road and still muster the courage to choose it anyway. To carry on when it feels like the world is ending. To take up arms against obstacles and foes much larger than itself.
To bear the pain of a lifetime of failures, countless heartbreaks, loss, grief, anger, neglect, disappointment and sadness while still somehow maintaining capacity for overwhelming joy, kindness, compassion, generosity, faith, courage and love.
There is no more powerful force in the world than that of the human heart. From a thousand pieces it can be reformed over and over again into one living, beating, loving, enduring fortress.
It bears the weight of your entire life – every challenge and hardship you’ve ever faced. Like a biological metronome, keeping track of the passage of your time, marking both the beginning and the end of a lifetime.
This is why I close every yoga class I teach with a bow to honor each of our own hearts. For everything it has endured and everything it has yet to bear. This day and every day. To your own heart, bow.
Honor your heart this week. Join me for a yoga class, in person or online at Yoga for Durability on Vimeo.