Physical healing is never purely on the physical plane.
It must encompass all layers of the individual’s existence – their mind must understand the changes happening, their emotions must be acknowledged tenderly and allowed to speak.
The spirit must be honored, held, rebirthed into the new physical experience in the body.
And the energy of divine breath and source must fuel the process.
We continually update our identity, our consciousness, through any season of practice or non-practice. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we choose our path.
In yoga and yoga therapy, we use the 5 koshas as a model for this return to wholeness through healing practices.
When strong emotions arise, when old stories surface, may we allow ourselves to observe objectively – welcome them as visitors with wisdom in hand.
What can I learn from this current feeling?
And whether we understand them or not is of no importance (unless we attach to that importance). Perhaps we just need to see them, hear them, feel them for those deep moments.
Attempting to understand all of ‘our stuff’ can bring more suffering than is necessary. Some things will never make sense.
Learn what we can while they visit. Gladly let them go. Release our attachment.
May we receive all of ourselves as we were, as we are, as we are becoming.
May we practice in the fullness of our embodied experience and see the fruits of our awareness.
May we be content with and through it all.
Even the dark nights or long days – trusting the impermanence of these seasons. Hoping and truly seeing the light of dawn as it returns. Because most of our experience, here on earth at least, is impermanent.
Not sure what I’m exactly saying? Here’s an example.
Let’s say that someone perpetually has a curled in, slumped over posture. This could be caused by a combination of a sedentary job and lifestyle, structural or strength issues, and mindsets, emotions and mood states. Years spent curled up in a ball will change the body’s ability to move and stand well, will negatively impact breathing capacity and organ function, and keeps the person’s sense of self or mood feeling ‘stuck’ in the physical pattern and current relationship to living.
On the contrary, perhaps the person realizes through self-reflection and support that they’d like to do something about the ache between their shoulder blades, the fatigue they feel. They desire life – energy – vitality – options…and these options may come initially through movement practices and exercises. yet inevitably, we are influencing the entire person.
My role as a Yoga and Movement Therapist is not to judge what’s good or bad, healthy or unhealthy.
Our patterns serve a purpose.
By understanding our needs and how we meet them, we can start to develop new options. New ways of moving and being. Better skills to meet our needs.
And it is and always will be up to that person (you) whether they want to explore options, how much, how fast, and begin to embody their full range as a dynamic, thriving adaptive human being.
What it all means is up to you, the student or client, and I’m here to help you decipher and decode your body’s needs and signals along the way.
I believe growth, healing, change and transformation can happen for every body. We take it at your pace, because in my teaching – it’s about you. Any skilled, sensitive teacher will understand that this journey unfolds according to your agency and autonomy.
Namaste and deep breaths to you all.
* Photo: overlooking the western states at sunset from cruising altitude. August 2015.
* This quote from Mirabai Starr is from the book Mother of God: Similar to Fire, published by OrbisBooks