I’ve long understood the healing power of Yoga and Meditation. I don’t feel I have to understand why so much as I just know it just goes beyond the physical body. It can go past emotions and possibilities. Although I do not teach therapy yoga classes it isn’t uncommon to have those with injuries come to class. Someone told them to check out Yoga – friends, doctors, an article they read. Most times they come by accident to the right kind or style of class. Most times they don’t though – they have some deal or coupon or they went to the one just down the street from them. Yoga has many styles and it is just important to know this. Its also important to do your own research on who you are learning from. Not just in yoga but everything. You should look at bios and learn more about their background. I do this myself when I’m choosing a new doctor. You read reviews, comments and understand their speciality.
In the past week alone I have had a number of women share with me that they are recovering from reconstruction surgery in their chest from breast cancer. Right away they are aware of the fact that lifting the arms is not something they can do right away. There is a tightness they are dealing with physically. A number were used to being so active and this has made them make some big changes in their life. Many are therefore dealing with the emotional as well as physical changes; scars that are beyond what can be seen.
One student shared with me that she has gone through so much this year. Divorce, a new job and now just weeks after reconstruction she is has started coming back to yoga but decided to come to gentle yoga. We have talked a number of times now and the healing of restoring herself is just as important as the physical practice. One night I asked her what she was in need of in her practice and we went over the physical areas she quickly mentioned; all the “I can’t do this” and “this is tight”. I listened but then guided her though the practice that would show her all she can do. We ended it with some guided meditation and stillness for about 10 minutes. At the end of class she said that I somehow gave her more of the grounding she needed more than anything. Fortunately she is really aware of this and isn’t fighting “NOW” and this is going to help her heal very well. She is going to check out restorative classes as well which I know will help her.
When big change happens it is quite hard not to fight it or resist. It is only natural to hold and with that our body responds to this stress. Although natural this response over long periods of time isn’t going to help us. The practice of moving mindfully or sitting still in yoga trains and teaches us to be aware of the times we grasp and with that pause. With this we may be able to have a different experience in it; let go of the grip. So with Gentle Yoga we hold poses longer, move slower and all of this doesn’t mean it’s easier. It brings you into the thoughts more to observe. We stand, balance, improve strength and expansion in some tight areas to be a witness to that moment. So we can learn to see the resistance and with that seeing we may be able to let that be. The body, mind and spirit can do the magic from there.
Also recently I also know a student who has been on depression mediation for years and with her doctor she is coming off the medication. She is learning to be with her feelings and reactions instead of suppressing or avoiding. She felt that she was ready and that unfortunately the medical area just didn’t have a plan or way to help her come off the drug come off safely. So she came to yoga this past month and has shared that beyond the careful instruction from the teachers she is learning from, that she also loves the community too. This can make all the difference in our healing. It is so important to understand that who we are with and around in our life makes our life better or worse. We take in our community and if it is loving, supportive and kind we will respond to that and heal. So I love that she came to the right place and so glad she found what she needs to heal. I saw her last night and asked how she was feeling. She said “so so”. I greeted that with “that is ok”. It is ok to just feel so, so. She smiled and we talked about her laughing in her practice which I loved watching. We went to tree pose at the wall and she immediately gave out a big grunt. “I hate this pose. Paige my balance isn’t good.” Ok – take a breath. I always advise that with balance it isn’t about being perfect. Enjoy your imperfections. ” Fall out and laugh at yourself. It takes more strength and courage to fall and get back up again.” We have to fall out of balance to enjoy the days we are in balance. Also stop taking it all so serious – It’s just YOGA! Fun. Remember Fun? Some days are meant to be just ok. No need to push or suppress the feelings away. Say the “OMG’s”, feel it and watch it move on. Because it will.
Being with our day to day moments in a loving and caring way. That includes those injuries and life’s changes. That is why I’m proud to be teaching full time. Just so glad that each class I teach presents me with many who are dealing with something I may not know about or be aware of. It goes beyond exercise. I’m there with the intension of holding that space for them.
Just my thoughts of my journey this week. More to come…