Yoga with Melissa 385 Heart Stabilization Series: Acceptance

by Melissa West on


Acceptance is a theme that has pursued me on my spiritual path for well over a decade now. When I did the various levels of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Training I took, we focused on various themes from befriending, awareness, acceptance, truth, discernment, truth in action and flow. In them we wore name tags that had one of those words on them instead of our names. My name tag always said, “Acceptance.” We had to wear that name tag everywhere. I remember that being a hugely distressing experience because it was so out of alignment with the truth of my experience. I was fighting, albeit internally, with almost every situation, emotion and person in my life.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, it was a Friday morning and I had spent a particularly difficult week in pain with migraines. It was especially difficult because it had been a long time since I had last experienced such an intense episode and I was judging and turning away from my experience. I was making the experience of the migraine itself a problem, I was also making myself the problem.

Friday mornings I go to my meditation class with my meditation teacher Neil McKinlay at the Monterey Centre in Oak Bay. This particular Friday morning, Neil, an avid rock enthusiast was giving an example of how he noticed his body was turning away and resisting the early music of Chicago. It was a cute and safe example (not something that Neil leans towards) and I could feel myself getting more and more angry as I was struggling with a very deep and real experience in my own life.

I waited until Neil finished with his talk and then I asked him, tears already forming in my eyes, “What about the real stuff, the hard stuff? What about when you are in pain and your body literally shuts down?” And then something happened, I couldn’t control the experience any long and the floodgates of tears opened. I cried and cried through the entire class, the entire meditation and throughout the rest of the day. It was complete and utter surrender to the reality of my experience.

A few weeks later I took a refuge vow with Dharma Ocean and my teacher Neil, an oath to relate directly to the truth of my life, not the distractions or the diversions, not my hopes and fears of how I want my life to be, but the truth of my life as it was. During that ceremony, each person who took the vow was given a name. It is not a name to replace your given name, but one to invite clear seeing into the truth of your nature. My teacher Neil laughed a little as he approached me to give me my name, he said, this name will make you laugh sometimes. My given refuge name was, “welcomes without exception.” This name lit something in me with recognition and aspiration. It has been one of the greatest gifts I have received on my spiritual journey.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

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Today I shared one of my many experiences of bringing acceptance to the moment to moment unfolding experiences, emotions and people in my life. I would love to hear how acceptance touches you in your life in the comments. Let me know.

If you know somebody who would benefit from this class please feel free to share the video with them.

Today we focused on acceptance. We have several more Yoga with Melissa Classes on Acceptance:

This yoga class also focused on hip and shoulder openers. In our yoga membership community we have two series of classes hippy shorts and shoulder shorts with 10 short classes in each to release your hips and shoulders. I will link to them for members and put a link below for those of you interested in becoming members.

And if you are not already a member, here is the link to join our yoga and meditation membership community

Membership Sign-Up

Thank you so much Hannah from the UK, Valeria from Brazil, Leah from New York, Cornelia, Donna from Oklahoma, Ivy from New York, Carla from Belgium for your donations. They support our family so that we can do this full time, make this our job and continue to produce yoga videos for you for many years to come.

Yoga Postures or Asana: Pelvic Rocks, Shoulder and Hip Release, Keyhole Stretch, Keyhole Twist with Side bend, Front Lying Shoulder Twist, Gate Pose or Parighasana, Side Angle Pose or Parsvakonasana, Tree Pose or Vrikshasana, Legs Up the Wall or Viparita Karini, Cobra or Bhujangasana, Upavista Konasana or Wide Legged Seated Forward Fold, Savasana or Corpse Pose, mudra for acceptance

Weekly Yoga with Melissa #385 Photos of Yoga Poses



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