When I am going through tough times or reflective times; everytime I practice it turns into a long juicy Yin Session. If you have never practiced Yin I strongly recommend …. For me, personally, once I discovered Yin this was where Yoga really started to change my life.
Yin, in a nutshell, is that you hold poses for 3 to 5 minutes but they are slightly different than traditional yoga poses and they focus on the tendons, faschia, and ligaments – thereby releasing a shit-ton of garbage from around the joints and increasing flexibility. It also improves the flow of qi which can improve organ health, immunity, and emotional well-being.
What I have learned over the years is how much garbage (baggage) and emotion I store in my body… for always.. I have always been so excited to see the path of healing it all from head to toe with this practice. It’s strange that I can still forget.
I went for a Massage/Reiki/Craniosacral treatment on Friday and it was pretty darn clear that I was not clearing out the garbage the way that I should. I had been looking so forward to this relaxing treatment, historically my Therapist can cure what ales me quite easily. Alas, I was STUCK and I realized quite quickly that I only had myself to blame. You see, I do this, I get so wrapped up in the things that I love, this work that I’m doing, that I lose myself – I forget about my body. Sweet Jesus, my poor body and all that I have put it through. The loathing, the starving, the boot camping, the yo-yo’ing… The great news is; she won’t let me away with much and I can only store so much unprocessed emotion before she renders me quite helpless. The treatment reminded me to hit my mat gently – with Yin.
On the weekend I was in Dragon Pose and it reminded me of a time a few years ago when I was doing this very pose in a class. Dragon can be one of the most uncomfortable poses for me… it gets real “zingy”, real fast. I remembered that the instructor said that sometimes this practice is like life… we have to stay in discomfort to get where we need to go. Cue the tears; the last 7 years have been all about staying despite the discomfort. When your children are involved you don’t have much choice. However, my unhappiness, and fear, and broken-heart energy had to go somewhere and I stored it – deep in my guts and my hips and my heart. All of it wrapped around everything authentically me and literally suffocated my poor shattered soul.
My precious baby girl was diagnosed with a life-shortening illness;
My heart was broken – to be robbed of a “normal” life;
Everything was affected, my friends, my work, my money, my body, my spirit;
My marriage was very nearly destroyed;
I was on my mat, opening my hips, throbbing with electric pain;
There is a pride that comes with weathering a storm, facing it, letting it tear you down so you can re-build. There is a quiet strength and exhilaration that comes from finding the tools to re-build and re-inspire yourself to live up to the path your soul intended.
I have done many things in my life that give me great pride but right now I’m focused on this truth – the truth of staying. Metaphorically speaking, I refused to compromise who I was at the core – true authentic me – during this most difficult time. It wasn’t always obvious She was around but I found outlets and the Divine made sure that even if I was crumbling on the outside there was this safe little spot in the center of my being getting nurtured and strengthened by the lessons I was learning.
I know that getting on a Yoga mat seems like the most ridiculous thing to do when it seems like your world is out of control… I am here to tell you from the most personal of experiences that it’s the first place you should go. Quiet your mind, connect to your breath, Release what doesn’t serve you and process what you must…