Growing up a dancer I was often given the message to push past the pain, to keep on dancing, stretch a little further. Much emphasis was put on the esthetics of the movement and not necessarily the structure of it. Not that my teachers over the years were not conscious of injury prevention, they paid attention to a certain extent to this (usually this was stronger from the ones who sustained injuries their selves). It became ingrained into my body that pain was normal and OK.
What I didn’t realize was this was spilling over into my emotional life as well. I was allowing myself to be in pain to make others happy. Putting my own feelings or emotions aside to put others first and I had been doing this for years! Wow! How did I miss this?
Again it is my Yoga Teacher training that has given me a deeper understanding of this issue on a physical level to reinforce the healing at a mental level. (Everyone said “Get ready, YTT will emotionally shake up your world”) My teachers have a deep understanding of yoga being mind, body and soul, as well as the physical injuries that can occur by pushing ourselves past our bodies comfort point. My history teacher, states the body will not willingly hurt itself, it is the mind that pushes the body past what it is capable of to a place of injury. Oh the mind! How can you be so helpful and so hurtful all at the same time.
Here on my mat I have allowed myself to quiet my mind and listen to my body instead. This has brought my practice of yoga to a whole new place. Greater alignment has been found in many positions just by simply listening to where my body has landed in a posture then gently correcting it. This has granted me deeper inner awareness within each pose as well. I no longer force my leg higher where I think I should be. Now I take it to where it feels good then just beyond to “work” the posture. This is a place of strength instead of frustration of my old ways.
The word asana is loosely translated into pose or posture, but it really means calm, steady seat (the first posture was a seated one). This is where the magic happens…each asana being done with the purpose of calm and steady takes us to a place within, a place of strength, a place of power. Here in this magical place our mindfulness, rather than being filled with shouts of anger - higher, deeper, I can’t do this, I am falling over, just hold it a minute longer, oh ya breathe. It is here I find deep inner peace. It is here I
remember that I must honour myself – mind, body and soul.
This is not something totally new to me, but just refreshed. I know can see this with new eyes. My awareness is heightened. So today and forever more I will pay closer attention to my body and what it has to say. I will also listen carefully to the whispers of my heart and soul too honouring my feelings knowing pain is not the answer, a place of calm steadiness is. No longer will I sacrifice myself, I am important. I am worthy of abundance and happiness. Namaste