Therapeutic yoga for healing is finally making headway in the Western world. Yoga is not just for fitness anymore (if it ever was!).
"Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open." ~ B.K.S. Iyengar
If we view yoga not merely as a fitness and competitive sport, a whole new world opens up to us. Restorative and healing yoga is the type of yoga I practice and teach. Using yoga for healing is the basis of my holistic health coaching practice.
There is much healing needed in the world. And not just physically. Emotional, mental and spiritual as well. As I have stated before, these states are all sublimely interrelated and one impacts the other.
Yoga as a healing modality has been in existence for centuries. I doubt that I need to convince anyone that yoga for healing is effective. So why is it that we don't use healing yoga more? Could it be that it is because the Western interpretation of yoga surrounds "doing" something in a world of constant action and doing? Hmm... yes, yoga is NOT about doing, it is about undoing.
The stress and tension that we hold in our bodies that manifests themselves as dis-ease is no coincidence. Holding onto stress, tension and strong emotions is the single most damaging thing we can do to ourselves. Held tension affects our entire being ~ body, mind and soul.
I have often thought that you could eat dog food and stay healthy as long as you were stress free. Neither physical fitness nor exercise has to hurt if you are stress free. Weight falls off your body if you are stress free. Happiness and peace flow into your life if you are stress free.
What do we usually do instead of learning to become stress free? We spend enormous amounts of time and money, undoing the damage we have caused ourselves when we push to live the lifestyle that we have come to expect. We cannot open our hearts to love ourselves enough to believe that we are worthy of a stress free life.
Our 4th Heart Chakra energy is blocked, preventing us from fulling engaging in the self-love and self-compassion that is required for health and healing.
We take supplements and spend enormous amounts of money on healthy formulas and healthy foods. We end up on the couch from the mechanical breakdown of our bodies from pushing too hard physically, believing this is health, only to cause even more stress. We gain weight, which makes us believe that we need to push even harder with our bodies, so we push through the foot fractures, the knee issues, the iliotibial band pain and the aching hips. The weight remains or increases.
More ill health ensures, and we are filled with emptiness that cuts to our very souls. We feel we have been forsaken and we are alone, just struggling to survive, counting down the days to retirement. When we finally reach retirement, we are exhausted, depleted and nursing chronic illness.
Base of Vestal Peak, Colorado, from Alpine Lake
The good news is that you have the ability to reverse the cycle! If you are willing to slow down, remember to breathe and undo the damage. This is the basis of yoga for healing! Yoga is so therapeutic and can be so simple. It is not only the gymnastics that you see accomplished on the cover of yoga journals. Yoga can be slow, full of mindful breathing and postures that open you to further awareness of yourself.
Yoga is for everyone, regardless of age, sex, level of fitness, health, or flexibility!
When you practice yoga for healing, you learn where your energy is stuck. You learn where you need opening. You learn where you need to relax and release. Where you are stuck in your body is where your stressful self has migrated, through tensing behaviors, often over many, many years. This closing and protecting tensing mechanism has to be undone for you to heal.
Deep tensing of your body is the basis for most lower back pains, a pandemic in our culture. This syndrome is known as TMS or Tension Myositits Syndrome, in the Body-Mind medical community.
The techniques I use in my practice bring peace and undoing of the damaging stress in your body. I use meditative movements and held yin and restorative, yoga body postures that provide time to go inward and learn how to breathe properly to open your body once again. Restoring the breath is always where I start my patients in my holistic health coaching practice.
Tight chests are the result of hunched backs, forward sloping necks and shoulders and closed hearts. This stress-holding, guarded body posture constricts the chest and the breath, closing the pathway for healing.
Without first opening the chest and opening the heart, for increasing the breath, healing yoga cannot occur. Therapeutic yoga moves only as far as one can comfortably breathe, so that relaxation is the signal to the body. Relaxation brings release. Relaxation un-sticks you. When you learn this concept, the power of yoga for healing in your life is raised exponentially. Starting with opening the chest and increasing the breath is the key.
Before healing through yoga happens, you must get into the meditative frame of mind. You must be in a quiet, sacred space so that you can focus inward. You cannot effectively undo your stress through yoga if your children are running around you and screaming in your ears. You cannot undo if the TV is on. You must take the time and space needed for you and only you. This is healing self-love at its finest. This is where the healing power of yoga starts.
If you need motivation or don't know where to start to heal with yoga, I have developed the simplest of body meditations using simple, restorative yoga postures. You can access them here, at body meditation videos. Always, always start with the Heart Opener, to open your chest and free it for more effective breathing. If you don't want to pay the small fee to download this video, subscribe to my Body Window newsletter and get it for free.
I hope you invest in your health and your future by using my well-proven yoga for healing techniques. If you just can't do it own your own, or if you need further guidance, please contact me on my Contact Me page and I will be your guide. I am here for you to help you heal.
May your undoing be full and complete and get you on your path to healing. May you choose yoga for healing your body-mind-soul!