How often have you felt the anxiety of overwhelm, or a desire to retreat into a cave until all the things-that-must-be-done magically take care of themselves?
Ask any doctor, Western or otherwise, and they’ll tell you that stress influences all disease. It may be the only thing they agree on, but health practitioners recognize the danger this pressure poses to the balance of the human body.
Okay, so you know this already. Good. That means you are in the position to do something about it. Seeing as you’re reading this in a magazine dedicated to yoga, you probably already know how good yoga and meditation are for relieving stress and anxiety.
But I’ll let you in on a deeper knowing… The most profound healing occurs when you re-connect with your own natural pulsation. This is why yoga and meditation work so well.
This example might help you understand better. For the past few months I’ve led private yoga sessions for a beautiful woman who has suffered from Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. To over-simplify it, these are rather vague labels that describe a wide range of conditions that come when the body, mind, and emotions have reached their limit of anxiety and stress, basically getting to the point of system shut-down. The resting heart rate is high, but energy is low. Things feel difficult and fragile.
When she first came to me, this lovely woman looked at me through hollowed eyes. She was stiff and achy, often gripped with anxiety despite the medications she took to prevent it. The slightest exertion would tire her, in fact her doctor thought yoga would be far too much for her.
What did we do? Using primarily restorative yoga, focus on the breath, meditative visualization, and very deliberate yet short periods of strength building followed by relaxation, we brought her back into her natural pulsation.
She’s lowered her amount of medication, is able to do more physical activity, and looks so much brighter. She has said, out of all the myriad things she’s done (and it sounds like she’s tried everything she can), that our yoga sessions have been the most helpful. Even her family tells her she looks like a new woman.
When you turn your awareness to your breath, you honour and connect with the natural pulsation of your body. By meditating and doing yoga in mindful awareness of your breath, your heartbeat, hormones, and natural cycles remember their rhythm. You re-discover (again and again) your true state of peace and the joy that it brings.
It’s wonderful how many different styles of yoga there are, just as there are infinite paths for each of us to experience life. If you are dealing with high stress levels, chronic conditions or anxiety, you may consider Restorative Yoga, which is also helpful for perfectly healthy people to learn how to slow down and relax.
Whichever practice you are drawn to, I invite you to devote yourself to attuning to your breath. It is a wise guide, and will happily teach you how to let go, let things be, and enter the sanctuary of your heart – that place where peace dwells and joy wells up effortlessly. This is the road to healing, returning to your own natural pulsation. From here, the stresses of life can turn into things that flow and fall easily into place.
If you’re in Kamloops, join me for a delicious and blissful Restorative Yoga class, Mondays at 9am at Let’s Move Studio.