The Clues in our Body
One of the (many) things that I love about yoga is how it brings us back to ourselves. We may start our yoga practice as being a bit of a stretch, or maybe even a bit of a workout, but if we stay with it and keep with a regular practice, it starts to connect us into our truth, connects us to all the parts of ourselves, those parts we love and we are happy for others to see and also those parts we hideaway.Maybe from shame or guilt or because we don't know how to process the emotion - so we avoid it. In our yoga practice, we come face to face with ourselves, do we dare to keep eye contact or do we avoid?
How we show up on the mat is a reflection of how we show up in the world.
If we feel we are inflexible in class - where does that mirror in our world? Are we closed to different "maps of the world", are we determined to stick to our own rigid patterns of thinking or behaviour even if they don't always serve us?
Are we very flexible in class, able to loop our leg behind our head with ease, but do we lack inner strength and have low self esteem? Are we so flexible that we we go along with everyone else without asserting or even acknowledging our own needs?
How balanced are we? Do we find it easy to balance on one leg? Do we find it easy to see both sides of an argument, or see how we can balance being busy with resting, being strong with surrendering, balancing receiving with giving? Or are we so one-sided that we find it hard to balance?
How do we go into a yoga asana - what leads us there? Does our body and intuitive wisdom lead us into and out of a particular asana or pose, or does our mind lead us into it? Are we thinking about the pose or are we feeling our way into it?
How do we find out edge? Do we find the edge because the teacher has said go a bit further or come out now - or do we tune into the wisdom on the inside and trust that we know where our edge is today.....and asking ourselves what is beyond that edge?
How are we with inversions? Are you excited and enthusiastic to be upside down, or are you resisting it and can't wait to be the right way again. Do you feel unsettled being upside down? Does it make you feel uncomfortable because it is challenging the way things are, or the way you think things should be?
How are you in a twist? Do you love that feeling and enjoy the sense of heat and release in your body with a deep twist - or does it release feelings of anger? If you are feeling the anger, who or what is it towards?
How do you feel when you go into a soft fluid, flowy classs - does your body and mind respond to the circular movements and say - oh yes this feels so natural and freeing and great or do you resist and desperately look for structure, strength and stability and can't wait for this nonsense part to be over?
And those knees!!! yes those knees - so many people in classes have knee issues........is that because we live in the UK and a lot of the time it is cool / cold / wet and that aggravates our knees or could it be the knees reflect our stubbornness and inability or unwillingness to move forward in life? Ouch!!
Or our shoulders - where we hold onto all of our responsibilities and "ought to"s and "shoulds".....what is the message in that tightness or rigidity in our shoulders?
Our back........what messages are there for us in the back pain....where are we feeling unsupported, what financial worries do we have, what are we resisting...... If we have a stabbing pain in the back, who is stabbing us in the back. If we have sciatica, who or what is the pain in the ar**. Our body speaks our mind.....
I write this with feeling as I am experiencing some lower back pain again and so am once more asking myself - what is the message, what is the learning for me in this discomfort right now? What do I need to learn, to let go of, to embrace, to change, so that this symptom no longer needs to be here.....?
So next time you find yourself in class, or in your own practice at home......take time to get really intimate with your body, your mind and your soul. Be really curious. Be really interested. Notice how you are showing up, in every moment - notice the amazing learnings and information coming to you from your body and soul.
Let's learn to navigate our own map as our body leads us on an amazing journey inwards towards our truth.
This is one of the reasons why I LOVE yoga!