The strangest element was the energy emerging from the storm. People seemed softer, quieter, more in tune. Dare I say it – more AWAKE! Obviously, I hope it doesn’t take devastation to bring people to consciousness, but maybe sometimes it does. I had one student say that before the storm, they were in a bad mood, just sort of angry, and afterwards, they felt so much happier, like a wave of refreshing relief. They felt cleansed.
Inspired by this tornado, I invoked a message of building up the energy in my yoga class and then twisting it away and allowing everything to be released. In high winds, it is the weak branches that are lost; for the weak branches actually stifle the growth of the tree and keep it from reaching its full height and potential.
Historically, yoga has always taken inspiration from nature. This is the connection to understanding what is real and what is illusion – the test of time and nature. Taking tornado energy with you into practice will help you severe ties that are hard to break and teach you to let go of what is not needed.
Rev up your practice with a vortex of energy by booming some loud yoga music, incorporating a rigorous vinyasa practice with lots of twists, and an intention to allow everything to stir up so you can let it go.
Look for yoga music with a stormy sound that includes lots of drums and then wind down with something that reminds you of rain falling and thunder rolling in. Artists that have this sort of stormy calm sound include Dum Dum Project, Lokha, Tulku, Tuu, and Thievery Corporation. Try making your own storm sequence mix.
If you are looking for an album that has this quality throughout, try "African Dream" by Shaman's Dream. It embodies the drumbeats and the thunder energy you need to work yourself up into a frenzy and then gently sets you back down for Savasana.
**Note**I need to give credit to this blog’s title. There is this wonderful song, “This Tornado Loves You,” by Neko Case. The lyrics are poignant and literal; a graceful yet strong reminder of this love and fear relationship our civilization has with nature.
-Check out her 'Overcoming Obstacles' playlist on YogiTunes!
-Written by Kirsten Hedden, who teaches at Namaste Wellness Studio in Peoria, IL