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Love is a Two-Way Street by Matthew Dwyer

Tattooed man squatting between two yoga blocks. Open up to let love in

As yogis, we love to love. At least I do these days. When I walk into a classroom, I ask myself, “How can I love everyone?” And then it’s game on. Love starts to come naturally.

When we begin to deepen our practice of yoga, we can move into love quickly. We look at the people in our lives and really try to step up. But if we don’t open up to let love in, we are missing the point.

My point is that the path to greater love is a two-way street. My sweet friend and mentor Adriana Rizzolo once said to me, “Who doesn’t want to have their love accepted?” WHOA. Think about that. We all want to be held whether it’s by our partner, friend, parent, child, whomever.

It’s okay to let your guard down

Part of being held is to soften and let your guard down. Imagine trying to wrap your arms around a knight covered head-to-toe in body armor. Pretty tough hug, huh? That knight needs to throw his or shield down, rip off their helmet and tear their steel off. To let love in is to surrender—to be vulnerable.

The vulnerability part is where we often miss the mark. Maybe you think it makes you weak. Did you ever meet someone who doesn’t like to hug? That was me for years. I thought hugging was weak or wimpy. In reality, I was scared to let love in. People make excuses about not being “huggers,” and I get it. You might think to yourself, “well that’s not how I express my love.” Of course we all express love in different ways. But we just change our relationship with its direction.

Sometimes the hugger in the group is actually the most calloused. They’re not a hugger to express love but rather to portray themselves as a caring or sweet person. And that’s okay because it’s not really about the hug. (Just stay with me here.) Love is all about openness and understanding, and it’s a two-way street. See, our love wants to go in and out. It wants to be both held and do the holding. Love is dynamic. Love has its own expression that goes way beyond our arms wrapping around someone.

Close your eyes and let love in

It’s a small shift. It’s super subtle. But you can close your eyes and feel it. Try this: close your eyes and think of someone or something you have a lot of uncomplicated love for. Let it fill you up. Let it make your eyes well up. Feel it make your heart so sweet. Surrender to the deep pulsation of love that goes back and forth. Give and receive. Let it out and let it in.

How
Did the rose
Ever open its heart

And give to this world
All its
Beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its
Being,

Otherwise
We all remain

Too

Frightened
-Hafiz

Posted by

Michael Simpson

Michael Simpson

Michael’s teaching philosophy is rooted in science. As an anatomy and physiology major in college, Michael developed a keen understanding of the structure of the human body, and how exactly it is designed to move gracefully. He believes that the functional alignment of the body facilitates a truly meditative experience. Michael has been actively involved in the PFY community since 2013. He teaches several group classes at the Morristown, Chatham, Livingston, Clifton and Glen Rock studios and assists in the 200 hour teacher training programs.

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