Yoga helps to tone, strengthen, lengthen, twist, stretch all the pathways, organs, fluids etc to allow smooth flow and release any blockages. When these blockages start flowing, maybe a chronic pain in the hip starts loosening up, the stuck emotions can come to the surface and we have a release of possibly tears, laughing, anger, shaking; however it comes for us as this stuck-ness starts circulating, as it should, and releases its stagnant hold on our physical body as well as our mental body and our spiritual body.
Doing yoga makes me feel stronger physically. Not just stronger but I’m going to start there. I feel stronger in my body and I can tell that it’s not only strengthening my body it’s strengthening my mind as well. As I’m physically getting stronger and feeling stronger, I can feel my spirit getting stronger. I feel like I’m wanting to take responsibility for my choices and make decisions better and stand up for myself more by speaking my truth. My emotions seem more stable and my past doesn’t seem to trigger me as much. As I’m working with asana yoga and feeling stronger physically, I love how this strength is also affecting my spiritual self, my strength of character and will.
Doing yoga helps me feel more flexible. Years ago I used to be extremely flexible and then I stopped practicing awhile and got some aches and pains and started again and it’s taking me much longer to get or feel flexible again. Though slowly I am getting bit by bit more flexible. Someone once asked me why I was so flexible, I just remember saying “flexible body flexible mind.” I don’t think I understood fully what I was saying then but now it’s more clear because I’m feeling the same way as I become more flexible physically again. I feel like my body is opening up, my aches and pains are lessening and mentally I feel less aches and pains as well and it feels good. I’m moving around more fluidly and it feels like a dance. This physical flexibility allows mental and spiritual flexibility. Allowing life to flow, dancing and moving with it. Things will always come up that aren’t’ planned because that’s what life does, and we can bend and move and go with them, with the dance of life, the more flexible we are. Physical flexibility helps mental flexibility because you’re releasing your hold on your thoughts , past events and past beliefs and allowing anything stuck in the tissues to come up, circulate and leave getting rid of stagnation in your body and mind and leaving you feeling more flexible and able to move forward.
Stretching itself can help relieve stress due to the amazing mind-body connection. Using the body to help ease the mind. We can also do mental/emotional work such as meditation, breathwork or affirmations which can conversely help calm the body and ease pain. So, if you’re not yet into the Yoga lifestyle then there is still value doing stretching and strengthening exercises coupled with mental/emotional work such as therapy, mediation, breathwork etc.
One major thing that changed for me this year, 2020, was taking responsibility for my choices and actions. First realizing my choices are why I am where I am and think/believe or act the way I do. Looking at these and seeing which ones serve me and which ones do not. I have come into deeply practicing understanding what is giving me power and what is draining my power. Understanding what helps me feel empowered, I can do more of those things. And learning how to understand what drains my power and makes me feel weaker mentally and spiritually or even physically then I can work on those limiting beliefs or fears that are holding me back and draining my power. I can actively work on taking my power back and taking responsibility for these limiting beliefs, work on changing them by accepting them and then letting them go.
A great empowering resource I’ve found for this is Caroline Myss and her book Anatomy of the Spirit. She has many many other books and classes and lectures, but this book so far has been a gamer changer for me.
Something else that helped me feel more empowered was Dialectical behavioral therapy which focuses on making positive choices and encourages the ability to help yourself, putting the power back into your hands. It does this by coupling Cognitive behavioral therapy with Mindfulness techniques of mediation and the power of being in the present moment. I found this very insightful and useful especially when feeling anxious.
Coupling this therapy work and my yoga practice has literally changed so much for me. I feel different, in a good way. I have a lot of work to do still and will always but just really internalizing that I am in control of my power, my spirit is my responsibility, and I have the ability to take my power back at any time by letting go where I need to and make choices or decisions from only a place of faith, not fear. This has been such a great starting point for me for deeper spiritual work.
Thanks for reading, let me know what you think and if you’ve had any major shifts that have helped you move forward in your life.
From my heart to yours,