April 27, 2017. Imagine a Japanese garden in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico, with hot tubs, saunas, the sound of water and birds... Ten Thousand Waves is the most awesome spa experience I've ever had.
Learning to listen to our body is a beautiful gift we can give ourselves. Yoga therapy helps do just that--listen to our body, un-knot the muscular structure, feel fully in the moment and find the words to say who we are and what we feel. All crucial steps in our healing journey.
If we’re not sure of how we feel about something, our bodies hold the key to helping us determine our truth. All we have to do is listen. That’s because our body has a consciousness. In fact, our body is the exact reflection of our soul, and goes through our life’s experiences–whether positive or negative—just like our soul does.
For example, when we’re around a person who brings us joy, we feel comfortable and relaxed in our body. On the contrary, when we’re in the company of a person who we feel is hostile, we feel tense and unease. If we could step out of our skin and see ourselves, we would see how much our body language speaks to us.
Sometimes, we experience something that puts us so much in despair that there is no way to vent the grief and the pain. Both feelings become buried in the body.
Dr. Alexander Lowen (1910-2008), American physician and psychotherapist, developed a specific type of body psychotherapy called Bioenergetic Analysis, and worked all his life on the continuity between body and mind. He said “Every chronic muscular tension in the body has associated with it sadness, fear, and anger.”
I see it in my clients and I see it in me. A wound, when not healed, will show itself in the body in one form or the other—through a muscular restriction, or shallow breathing, fatigue or even an illness.
That’s when yoga therapy –which is delivered on a one-on-one basis or in small group settings-- kicks in. First, the practice requires that you pause--a must in the healing process. Healing only occurs when the body and the mind are relaxed, not when on the go. Then, the yogic breathing associated with the movements help you go inwards, un-knot the musculature structure, and read your body’s messages.
Yoga gives you access to your wound, helps you become fully aware of it, feel and sense it completely. Exploring and recognizing your wound, what is weighing on your heart will, in turn, help you express the grief through words and even crying releases. All for the sake to clean the wound and let the healing occur. The process may be challenging at times as we have this natural feeling of being scared of approaching our wounds. Still, when we do the work, it always brings us to a state of feeling more alive and experiencing more joy. And that’s the beautiful thing about yoga therapy.