BINDS! We all experience them in some capacity....job obligations, family responsibilities, and the list goes one. We even have emotional binds: we feel entangled by our anger, sadness, anxiety, and more. Being in a bind can be (and is) very uncomfortable. They restrain you from being able to do what YOU WANT to do. It restricts you from being free. You want to speak your mind, but can't. You desire to go on a three-week vacation, but there's no way. But, let me tell you why I appreciate binds.
Binds...are temporary. Binds can go away. Yes, I know, there are some responsibilities that will be a lifetime (i.e. family), but we don't have to feel tied up in knots about those more permanent-feeling circumstances. With those situations, you can loosen the binds; spread your wings a bit so you can fly.
In yoga, there are a number of crazy binding postures: Bound Side Angle, Half Lord to the Fishes, Crazy 8 Pose, Bird of Paradise Pose, and many more. Most of these yoga postures entail some sort of flexibility, balance, and focus. Being in these postures also bring heightened sensation. I believe that is the intention of most binds in yoga: to bring more awareness to the heightened feelings you experience in your mind and body. As we hold these poses, especially for a long period of time, those feelings only grow more intense. But we must remember....we are not stuck in these positions. With patience, stillness, and breath, we ultimately know that this is a temporary situation. You will soon release yourself from this bind.
We can take that message into our everyday lives. When we are in binds off the mat, just recall your yoga practice. Remember that this is only temporary; keep breathing, look forward, and even appreciate this reminder that we are truly alive. Then before you know it, either you have loosened the restraints and can move more freely or you have completely removed the chains to experience a relished sense of joy and appreciation.
(Photo by JonRippe, Washington, D.C.)