I first started yoga in my late 20s when I was feeling the stress of life. I remember bringing a journal and writing before the class began. I wrote about my day, insecurities, fears and anger. I remember feeling unsure and lost within the world and more importantly, within myself.
I remember walking away from the class and truly not thinking about what I wrote down earlier. Not feeding into the anger or whatever was hurting me. Instead, I felt connected, alive, secure, loved - all within myself. This is one of the reasons why I teach yoga and I teach the way I do.
When we are aware of our discomfort in life and if we feel strong and supported enough to work with it, we are on a path of healing. Of taking energy that once felt heavy and finding ways to release the load. There are many ways to heal and it all starts with a step. Inch by inch to better understand ourselves and why we react the way we do, why we might not listen to the signs, why we keep playing the same story over and over again. Why we keep torturing ourselves.
I believe that in the path of healing, we release the expectations of perfection that we once thought we needed to achieve. We sit with emotions, our past, our fears, anger, resentment, loneliness. We sit with ourselves and we start to nurture, love and care for the pain instead of ignoring it.
Are we listening to our body? That nagging pain in the shoulder, the tightness in the foot, the bloating stomach? How can we heal something if we won’t admit it? How can we take care of something if we don’t acknowledge that it exists? Take time to get to know your physical pains. My right shoulder gets tight so when I feel its pressure, I dance. I move my body in ways that feels good. I circle my arms, I embrace my shoulder and I won’t ignore it, anymore.
The yogic way of life doesn’t involve only yoga postures and movements. It’s also a practice of positive thinking. What we think, we attract. Our words have power. Food is medicine and sometimes it’s not the medicine but the dose that will get us. The way we breathe, are we taking in good air, are we filling up our lungs? Are we expelling the breath out completely? Are we listening when our energy is being used and abused? Are we allowing others to take what we don’t have? Start to honor your relationship with energy by noticing how it changes. With words, food, people, what you consume and how you breathe.
Of course the mind plays a big role in the path of healing.
We have a past and our experiences from the past are stored and kept in our mind from our perception. But we all know that we remember experiences depending on our own life. A family will grow up in the same household, same parents, same school yet the kids are different. You ask them to recall a specific memory and their stories will be told from their point of view. That’s what makes us so interesting. We all have our individual world within the larger universe.
What limitations does the mind place on our life? I am not smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough are just a few that lots of people struggle with. The good news is that with awareness and practice, we can recognize the stories, the limitations, the hold. Unfortunately we can’t just let go once and expect everything to fall in place. It’s a constant practice of letting go. What if during the process of healing, we listen better, we forgive more, we accept ourselves? We let go of perfectionism and go after what makes us happy.
Remember this. The amount of energy it takes to let go is NOTHING compared to the amount of energy it takes to hang on. So we practice letting go.
Sometimes what we need to heal is a broken bone or a habit that drains our energy. Sometimes it’s a memory, experience, limiting belief that holds us down. To heal is to kiss the parts of us that have been neglected and we are ready to give it the attention that it deserves.
Our bodies need attention. Our energy needs to be fed. Our minds needs direction. Our intuition needs to be acknowledged. And our soul needs to shine.