“Crying is one of the highest devotional songs. One who knows crying knows spiritual practice. If you can cry with a pure heart nothing else compares to such a prayer. Crying includes all the principles of yoga. ” – Kripalvananda Swami Kripalvananda is the namesake inspiration for the well known Pennsylvania Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. This Center was established by Amrit Desai, a disciple of Swami Kripalvananda and one of America’s first major yoga influences. I don’t know what Swami Kripalvananda intended by this statement and my searches for commentary on the passage has produced nothing of note. Nonetheless the passage has always hit me in.
It was Howard Gardner’s 1983 book Frames of Mind that began to blow open notions of intelligence within psychology. Gardner made the case that intelligence was much broader and applied to many more categories beyond just our reasoning or intellectual capacity. In 1990 Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer created a model of emotional intelligence that extended over 5 categories: 1. knowing emotion, 2. managing emotion 3. motivating oneself 4. recognizing emotions in others and 5. handling relationships. Daniel Goleman furthered this work in his bestselling book Emotional Intelligence. Goleman states ““self- awareness – recognizing a feeling as it happens (emphasis his) – is the keystone of emotional intelligence”. The.
It was in a first year philosophy class that I first heard the famous Socrates quote “Know Thyself”. I kinda thought I did. I was a rural Albertan girl with all the hard work values of a redneck, the social morals of an activist and the naive dreams of a hippie. That sums it up right? Almost twenty years now I’ve sought to embody Socrates words – words that have become an incantation of sorts living just beneath the surface of perceivable thought. Like any good incantation the pursuit of self-knowledge bubbles up from the cauldron of my unconscious inciting questioning, feeling and understanding. I am truly spellbound by it.
One of the major contributions yoga can make to greater mental and emotional well being is its capacity to develop new ranges of feeling and expression. Like a tree that wants to grow into full expression, in the directions inspired by its natural ability, we also have a myriad of potential for feeling into and expressing our aliveness. But, like a tree forced to grow inside a box, we are hampered in our expression by cultural norms and expectations as well as our socialization. From a young age we are taught what kind of emotional expression is acceptable and will secure us the affection of our caregivers and peers. We.