Dirty Dancing is a sentimental summer favorite movie and sound track. Beloved movies become part of pop culture because the struggles in the plot speak to the universal lessons we must all face or ignore. Recently while sitting in traffic it dawned on me that Dirty Dancing is about more than summer romances, it is about vulnerability. Vulnerability is ignoring your ego and fear to expose your heart and emotions to another person. Vulnerability is accepting the risks of both rejection and acceptance.
Baby is willing to expose her vulnerability when she tells Johnny, “I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.”
Of course Johnny does not reject her. Baby’s willingness to be unguarded was a sign of strength to Johnny. Her strength inspired him expose his vulnerability, “Sorry for the disruption, folks, but I always do the last dance of the season. This year somebody told me not to. So I’m gonna do my kind of dancin’ with a great partner, who’s not only a terrific dancer, but somebody… who’s taught me… that there are people willing to stand up for other people no matter what it costs them. Somebody who’s taught me about the kind of person I wanna be. Miss Frances Houseman.”
What if Baby had stayed in the corner with her shoulders drawn forward and her chin down? Would she have ever again exposed her heart and taken a risk that would allow her to fly?
I considered how I can show my vulnerability in my yoga practice, in my teaching and in this blog. I am teaching two to three class each week and listening to the feedback I receive so I can grow and improve. Receiving feedback is scary, but I am learning that my studio owner and those that practice with me want me to to succeed. Starting this blog is scary and leaves me feeling exposed, but I’m doing it anyway. I am risking rejection in hopes of finding my on-line tribe.
Consider how hiding your vulnerability is holding you back. Where could you show your heart? What are you willing to risk to have the time of your life?
Yoga pose suggestion: Exalted Mountain with Goal Post Arms
Stand up straight with your weight equally divided between both feet. Ankles, knees and hips are in one line. Draw your ribs together, engage your abs, lift the rim of your pelvis and pull your shoulders together and release them down your back. Your arms are at your side.
On an inhale, sweep your arms up and overhead. As you exhale, bend at the elbow and draw your arms down and in-line with your shoulders. On an inhale raise your arms over head. On your next exhale, repeat the goal post arms but go deeper by pulling your shoulders together to open your heart and and taking your head back to look at the sky as you expose your throat. Stay for an inhale and exhale and return to exalted mountain on an inhale.