Post image for Seane Corn: Yoga For A Broken Heart

Seane Corn: Yoga For A Broken Heart

by jenny sansouci on August 18, 2012

When I saw the name of this class on the list of choices at the Being Yoga Conference at Omega, I knew 2 things.

1) I definitely had to take it, even though I felt resistance to taking it.

2) My new Jade mat would probably be soaking up a few tears.

Yeah. This class was as intense as I imagined it would be. Nestled in a secluded cabin down by the lake, with the sun shining in the windows and birds chirping outside, a big group gathered to listen to Seane Corn talk about heartbreak and healing through yoga. For the first half of the class we had a discussion, and for the second half we practiced.

I did pretty well for the first little bit of class. Seane spoke about losing her father, and others shared about what they had lost. I felt a lot of compassion for them, but was impressed with how well I was holding myself together and thought maybe I wouldn’t be too emotionally affected after all. Cool. Smooth sailing. Until Seane said this-

“Sometimes things in life happen that are incomprehensible to the body. Even if your rational mind is prepared, your body feels blindsided and feels the assault. Your mind gets it, you might logically understand or even be grateful…but there’s a big ‘f*ck you’ inside your body that needs to be released. You can’t just process grief in your mind, you must process it physically.

Oh sh*t. Here we go. Pass the tissues. This I knew was true. When my relationship of almost 4 years came to an end a few months ago, my rational mind was all over it. I was at least somewhat mentally prepared for it, had been thinking it over for months, had come to the realization that it probably made sense, could put it on paper and analyze it and do all the calculations. My body, on the other hand, was a completely different story. As soon as the breakup actually happened, my body “felt the assault.” I got extremely physically sick. And I NEVER get sick. I couldn’t sleep through the night for weeks, I was on the couch with the worst cough I’d ever experienced, my entire body hurt, I couldn’t eat and I cried through entire days without a break.

Yeah, I know, all of that doesn’t sound very cute or cool. I could sit here and pretend that I just immediately dusted myself off and went on my merry way- but being honest, raw and real is a priority for me now. Why? Because these feelings aren’t just mine. This stuff is UNIVERSAL. The more we’re forthcoming about what’s really going on, the more we bring this stuff to the surface, the more we create space for others to express their own truth and feel it’s safe to do so. So in that sense, I feel obligated. For you. 🙂

Seane Corn teaching Yoga For A Broken Heart

So to paraphrase some of what Seane said in class, everyone has grief. It’s a natural part of the experience of what it’s like to be in the world. Most people don’t feel comfortable expressing it, so we shut down and disconnect. Most of the time we try to pretend we’re totally peachy, while the pain swirls around inside our bodies and manifests as anxiety, stress, tension, depression, disease and addictions. Yep. And that ain’t fun. The tension can make us very sick.

The grief gets stuck in our system – and yoga can bring that energy up and out. There is no disconnection between the body and mind in yoga, so as we stretch we release tension, begin to let go of attachment, and move into accepting what is. As we move through the acknowledgment of truth, we work through layers of grief, like we’re “rinsing” our emotions. Your yoga practice will start to help you find space for these emotions in order to release them.

Practicing yoga, along with other forms of self-care like meditation, prayer, a nourishing diet, and connecting and sharing with others, can help us to open, cleanse and transform.

At the end of the class, Seane said — “Before we can truly experience deep compassionate love, we must experience the opposite. Even in joy, there is devastation. If you feel THAT bad, it means you loved THAT big.”

OH man, yep, tears on the mat again. My body felt that one. I know you guys feel that too.

Some last parting words from Seane:

“Don’t pretend you’re supposed to be anywhere else but where you are. This is why it’s called the warrior’s journey. It takes courage.

When I first came to yoga, I didn’t realize I was coming for any type of emotional healing. Didn’t plan for that at all. Just thought I’d get a little flexible and have some cool classes to go to. But I was in for quite a ride….

Bottom line, just do yoga as much as you freaking can. Ok? This is important stuff here.

I’m sorry for such a ridiculously emo blog post but I’m just FEELING this today.  I swear my next one will be about something more fun.

Oh, and P.S: I’ve mentioned this a million times, but READ THIS BOOK, by the founder of the Omega Institute, Elizabeth Lesser. Broken Open.

Love you guys. For real.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan August 18, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Jenny, thank you so much for sharing your feelings, body experience, and thoughts here…I just had a similar yoga related breakthrough a couple of weeks ago and can attest to the huge power that it holds. Thank you for being another witness to this, and for your presence in all of our journeys. 🙂


jenny sansouci August 18, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Thanks for taking the journey with me! xx


happy little life August 19, 2012 at 3:05 am

That was so true, honest, and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your experience 🙂 Truly amazing


Karen August 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm


Thank you for this well put article….and expressing the emotion of all souls and the power of yoga to speak to our souls, all in a succinct way.
I am a yoga teacher and dedicated yoga practioner….but, really, yoga is much more even than that for me. I feel like yoga filled the hole in me that I spent my whole life trying to fill up with something out there….and yet yoga is even more than that. It’s like walking with the Divine without having to wonder anymore.
I too, had to go through a divorce in the past year. And, I remember at the beginning of the pain and hurt and grief, all I could do was get my butt to a yoga class. On days that I didn’t want to do anything, I would find myself in my car with my mat and getting to the studio. And, I just did yoga when I didn’t know what else to do. When I was tired of talking about the pain, when I was tired of crying about the pain, when I had nowhere else to turn….I had yoga the whole time. Yoga will work for you even when you don’t know it is, and even after all these years of doing it, it never lets you down like people can or do. It will stir your soul and speak to it at the same time. For me, yoga is the love I always wanted. Thank you for finding it for yourself too and encouraging others to find their way in it too. -Karen


Ellen August 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

My gal Seane leaves no stone unturned when it comes to getting us REAL with our crap. I so loved your post & wished I could have been there to experience her hard won wisdom over her life that has set her & US who ‘listen’ with our heat Broken Open…(YES!!…a MUST read book!)… on the path to freedom. Namaste


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