Read an Excerpt
After any type of heartbreak, be it romantic, familial, or otherwise, you’re likely to feel a wide range of emotions. You might feel hopeless, hopeful but directionless, a sense of freedom, deeply in pain, or unable to move or take a physical step forward. Sometimes multiple emotionssadness, relief, anticipation, anger, despaircoexist at the same time. There are as many emotional experiences as there are individuals, and these undulating waves of emotional turmoil can feel all-consuming, overwhelming, paralyzing, depressing, and very hard to ride out on your own.
I wrote this book to be your life raft. Within its pages, I will take you on an intimate, twelve-week journey that will use physical and mental exercises to integrate your diverse emotions and help you develop a new, healing relationship with your heart. That’s not to say there’s a time frame for grief, like twelve weeks and you’re good to go. The path to emotional wellness is an ongoing processyou can’t rush it. I know this firsthand because it took me almost five years to fully recover from my first broken heart, and I’m still recovering from my last relationshipand that’s after a solid year apart. But I found that a schedule and framework for the journey, which is what this book provides, helps focus energies in a particular direction, and that twelve weeks is enough time to learn how to tap into a self-love that will carry you through. No matter how you’re feeling right now, you can take action, and those actions will create an emotional opening. I promise.
If you’re feeling crushed, this might seem like an impossible idea, but it is not only possible to achievethrough directing your emotions and using them to take actionsit is entirely doable and completely transforming.
It also might be nice to know you’re not alone in your plight. Heartbreak is a universal experience, and no one has the luxury of avoiding it, including my clients, who are well known for their successful careers and their runway-worthy bodies. Being a celebrity and “having it all” doesn’t exempt you from pain. There is no fast pass that allows you to skip being human. My client and friend Jennifer Aniston had one of the most famous and scrutinized breakups on the planet. She credits our work with helping her get through it and discovering that she could act her way into correct thinking. Jennifer is living evidence that moving the body with heart produces the emotional result you’re looking for. Using the emotional energy positively has transformed her. She has reached an entirely new level of personal power and comfort in her own skin. I hold very dearly the very first time we practiced yoga together. It was a devastating time, when she was exposed to more pain than most of us with a freshly wounded heart can handle, and I suggested that we simply move the energy with some yoga. I let her know that if she needed more energy she could tap into what she was feeling, and if that didn’t do it, that she can tap into me. That is what I suggest to you too, through this book.
Jennifer isn’t the only one who found her way to me at a devastating time. Many of my students first came to my class or began working with me during a difficult life phase. While many can become paralyzed by mourning and find it difficult to take a physical step forward, others, sometimes unknowingly, seek to find a way to release some of the pent-up grief by taking a yoga class. Perhaps intuitively they know that one of the best things you can do to help yourself heal is to find action-oriented ways to love yourself through physical movement. As an instructor, I’ve found that once people get into the routine of showing up for themselves, the endorphins kick in and they want to come back for more of that good feeling. Consequently, they end up getting in the best shape of their liveswhile healing the emotional body, too.
The practices in this book are distinct from my first book, Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover, in an important way. There I talk about emotion being a motivating force: take your emotion and change your body with it. Here, we flip that dynamic to discover how you can shift your emotions by getting physicaland, conversely, change your body by fully expressing your feelings through action tools and movement. There’s a saying“Move a muscle, change a thought”that perfectly reflects this dynamic.
So here we are. At your new beginning. Follow this book and I guarantee you’ll change your thoughts, your habits, and your body. But before we dive in, I want to share a bit about myself and my experience. This is something I’ll do throughout these pages because opening up and relating my personal experiences has always been key to connecting with my studentswhether in my classes, with my private clients, through my DVD, or in my first book, Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover. In the deeply personal arena of heartbreak, I will allow you inside my own journey as it speaks to each of the movements in the twelve-week process. Sharing is a way of teaching and also of learning. Instead of the feeling of isolation that often accompanies sadness, we can open ourselves up and widen our circle. In this sharing I also want to explain a bit about how this book works, so once you get into the twelve weeks you’ll know what to expect.