by Mona Kino – April 2017
Have you ever thought T H I S is love! — I did. — Should I have given words to what T H I S is – it would have been impossible for me to put it in one sentence or word, neither a felling. Except confusion or the sight out of a dirty window after a long winter.
Hence we are all individuals there is no such thing as standardized love. So what is love?
With this exercise you can weep the window and explore what love is for you.
If you are practicing Yoga or Thai Chi start with a grounding exercise you like. Five to ten minutes are fine. If you are not practicing any awareness body work I introduce you to this simple exercise.
Stand with the feet together and the arms by your sides
Bend the right knee, raise your right thigh and bring the sole of the right foot as high up the inside of the left thigh as possible.
In the beginning it might just as high as your left ankle.
Balance now on the left foot, raise both arms over the head keeping the elbows unbent and joining the palms together.
If you feel uncomfortable with your arms raised over your head bring your palms together in front of your heart.
Hold the posture for a couple of breaths.
Lower the arms and right leg and return to the standing position with feet together and arms at the sides. Pause for a few moments and repeat on the opposite leg.
The challenge of this exercise is maintaining balance on one leg. Poor balance is often the result of a restless mind or distracted attention. Regular practice will help focus the mind and improves concentration, balance and coordination.
When doing this exercise it may help to imagine or picture a tree in your mind.
Imagine that the foot you are balanced on is the root of the tree and the leg is the trunk.
Imagine your head and outstretched arms are the branches and leaves of the tree.
You may be unsteady for a while and find the body swaying back and forth, like a tree bending in the wind.
As you advance in this posture and are able to remain standing for more than a few moments, try closing the eyes and maintaining your balance. Hold it as long as your comfortably can. Repeat it two or three times on each leg.
Then sit relaxed on a chair or cushion. Scan your feelings in your body from toes to head, then focus on your breathing. When you´ve connected your body with your breathing focus on the area around your heart.
When being in touch with your heart let a person you love arise. It also can be a child or a pet you love. People can have strong feelings of love for animals and even things. Again there is no right nor wrong in this exercise. Repeat this three times.
The first person who came into my mind was my daughter. My love for her felt like a warm shower in the morning. You can imagine the big smile on my face. Second my son came up. My love for him was like being surrounded by millions of different spices in a Moroccan souk. Thirdly my love for my partner came up which felt like warm tender naked skin.
I I realized that love has as that many different shades and I accepted too, that my confusion was no wonder at all but a fight for a definition for the one and only love. Sure there is a special kind of love for all of us which leads us to those we want to share our life with. But we can also feel love for those we don´t want to share our life with. Feeling love for someone is no need for taking action in a specific way.
My love list is growing ever since. For my children, my partner, my friends and also for the guest dog we sometimes taking care of. Today I added pink and white marshmallows to the Moroccan spice bag on my sons list.
If you are a teacher or pedagogue or just a parent or partner- try out for yourself and share your experiences this way. Sit together ear by ear then decide who wants to talk the first five minutes and who wants to listen. If you don´t want to say anything, don´t. Just be aware of your impulses.
Illustration by Gesine Grotrian
Editing by Kerstin Schöps