Making a Soul Connection

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We are all in the business of human connection.

From the moment you wake up - to when you close your eyes at night, you are engaged in the exchange of energy. In Yoga, heart-opening is revered as a source of expansion, receptivity, and connection. We often associate heart-opening with “chest-opening,” because we are releasing tension on the front of the body in order to counteract the habits of poor posture.  But why is poor posture is such a rising epidemic? Why are most human hearts ridden with contraction?

Perhaps we have forgotten how to enjoy our exchanges with the world!

No matter what I’m doing or where I go, I feel an undeniable and unexplainable pulse moving through my body. It's a desire that beckons me to keep searching, motivating me to move forward. My dream of creating positive change in the world leaves me with one question… Why am I here? Again and again, I remember that I am here to soak up moments of ecstatic union.

Moments when my perspective shifts slightly and a new gateway opens in my mind. Moments when I have the opportunity to be vulnerable, I feel suspended in the possibility of rejection, yet I am embraced with love and acceptance. Moments when time slows down, I can feel my heart beating, and the whole world appears to be shimmering with an iridescent truth. These exchanges are held as rare gems, glimpses of ecstasy that only happen upon chance. So instead of consciously cultivating these moments on daily basis, we sit back and wait for them to happen - scrolling mindlessly on our phones and avoiding eye contact with strangers - continually scraping the surface and avoiding the very thing we seek. Why?

Because deep and fulfilling soul connections will shake you to your core.

For me, it feels like the earth is moving beneath my feet, and the sky is opening up into greater vastness. Like my brain is being immersed in a bath of a electric pulses, and my heart is ripping open from the inside. Soul connections are unsettling, because most of us are desperately seeking solid ground. So when conflict arises - when feelings of insecurity, tension, discomfort, and fear come to the surface - our first instinct is to either fix the feeling, or run away from it. But by attaching to security and success, we actually deprive ourselves of what it means to have a human soul, in all its beauty and terror.

Your soul's secrets are hiding in the cave of your heart, the darkest recess of your being.

The heart is the physical foundation of energetic exchange, and the spine is the riverbed that carries this connection. This is why opening your heart can be painful and difficult. This is why healthy and safe back-bending requires strength and physical preparation. It is not simply the process of passively stretching your chest and front body, but it demands a deep integration of the whole posterior, the back of your body. 

Every piece of information moving into your sensory perception, both conscious and subconscious, is processed through your central nervous system, which is seated inside your spinal column. Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen describes the process as a filter - information moving in through the back and out through the front. When you resist this exchange of energy, or refuse to feel an aspect of your experience (positive or negative), it gets stuck in your body, resulting in contraction, stiffness, immobility, and disease. The problem arises when we either cling to or avoid these unprocessed sensations as a means of identifying and protecting ourselves.

When you open from the back of your heart, there is no escape, only embrace.

There is nowhere to hide, no room for rejection. Inevitably, a moment comes when you are no longer bound by your individual identity, and you are empowered by an intelligence that is much bigger and older than you. Sometimes, I imagine that I am leaning back into the hands of the universe - trusting that there will be someone or something, not to catch me, but to guide me as I lift my heart, expand my chest, and open myself wide.

Every day, we pass off opportunities for connection, opting for the safe and familiar route of escape. We tell ourselves that “soul connections” are difficult to find, once-in-a-lifetime moments that will be gifted to us in only the perfect circumstances. But that’s just a load of shit, and the perfect circumstance is right now, right here, before your very eyes. We deny ourselves the most profound connections, because we are too busy hiding in the corner, building up strong and stable walls of preservation. But here is the paradox...

Breaking down your walls of protection is both destructive and creative.

True connection feels annihilating, intrusive and offensive - liberating, expansive and inspiring, all at the same time. It requires you to shed layers of safety and let down the armor that is obstructing evolution. Because the magnitude of ecstatic union cannot exist when you conceal your true nature. Luckily, you are not alone on this quest for soul connection. You are accompanied by the entire human race, an army of people who are quivering with trepidation yet hungry for the same thing.

The way we think, speak, breathe, and explore the world is informed by our desire to connect, our longing to be seen and heard and loved for who we are. Connection comes from the Latin roots meaning “to bind together” or “to be united physically.” Of course, there are countless ways to unite beyond the physical realm, but it begins with physical presence and the capacity to be honest. Satya is a Yogic principle defined as “truthfulness,” and it is the first doorway that leads to connection. The practice of Satya is a step beyond honesty - a recalibration of authenticity. It asks us to observe, with unwavering truthfulness, whether or not we are moving closer into alignment with the expression of our individual soul, known as Jiva Atman. But is it possible to be in true communion with your soul on a daily basis?

When I was young, taking a shower was a mundane requirement, so I chose to entertain myself. While standing naked under a steady stream of water, I would imagine that I was on stage singing to hundreds of people. I would belt out my favorite songs until my performance was perfected. Looking back now, I see that this was my own desire to be celebrated for my gifts and feel connected to the world.

Your desire for connection is embedded in your subconscious.

This means that your exchanges with the world are often mannered and your behaviors are catered to the conditioned belief that successful connections will only happen if you do all the *right* things...

+ You want to be independent and responsible? Get a job or build a business.

+ You want to feel purposeful? Make an impact in the world around you. 

+ You want to have joy and pleasure? Surround yourself with beautiful things.

+ You want to find love and freedom? Complete countless tasks to become a "better" person.

True connection cannot be manufactured. 

A soul connection is born from the truthful communication with your own soul. It cannot be controlled or manipulated or willed into being. Instead, it emerges from a physical presence that is infused with rich awareness and actions that provoke reverence. It exists in the genuine exchange of energy - sharing, celebrating, and embracing all the colorful and flavorful expressions of ecstatic union. So what is the language of your heart? How are you opening up to the sources of connection that surround you?

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Maria Borghoff (E-RYT, YACEP) is the curator of Groove Forward Magazine and has been teaching yoga since 2011. Her work helps passionate people integrate the practice of yoga into their life through art, movement, Tantra meditation and Ayurveda consulting. Maria writes songs to cultivate faith, leads a 200-hour teacher training, and offers private teachings/ mentorship for individuals, couples & creative entrepreneurs. Follow her journey @mariaborghoff.

Maria Borghoff