What is your ideal picture of happiness?
When you think about the ‘perfect’ you, part of that image is a healthy body and peaceful mind. It is pretty tough to be completely happy when you hurt.
We all experience pain. It is the body’s way of letting us know something isn’t quite right, and would we please do something about it, thank you very much?
Many of us turn to yoga in order to work through physical challenges, find some semblance of mental clarity, and balance waves of emotion. When you break it right down, just the basic act of moving and breathing mindfully can make huge improvements.
Yet there is more to the therapeutic aspect of yoga than simply moving. As healing as yoga can be, it can also be dangerous when done misaligned.
When the body is in pain something is out of alignment. If tight muscles are pulling bones and joints out of their rightful place, circulation is impaired and all sorts of disagreeable things can happen. However, when you learn how to come into optimal alignment, joints move easily, fluids flow freely and healing occurs.
Though it can be very simple, it takes precise knowledge of alignment to make this happen. Weak muscles must be enlisted to do their work in order to balance the physical form. Tight parts are coaxed and nurtured to a place where they no longer strain.
For example, if the front of the shoulders is tight, which is very common, the shoulders round forward which can cause pain from the neck to the wrists and hands. Yet when you learn to bring length to the torso, establish the natural curve in the neck, strengthen the back muscles to draw the arm bones back and shoulder blades onto the back, pain can instantly disappear.
Though each human being is unique, there is a deep order to the way our bodies work. Even with the apparent differences between us, a method exists that can be applied to nearly all ailments to find freedom from pain. To do this you align with nature, with the optimal blueprint of your body, moving out of mis-alignment into a place where the body is in harmony.
John Friend, founder of Anusara® Yoga, is one of the most highly respected and sought out therapists in the world. He has helped countless people, some of which have tried everything else to no avail. I have personally watched him free people from chronic pain in a matter of minutes, simply by showing them how to re-align optimally.
Studying with John has given me such insight into the way alignment can be applied for optimal health. Healing can be rapid and yet there is a responsibility to take ownership for your own healing process. If a person is not ready, mentally or emotionally, to move out of their condition or unwilling to do the work necessary to re-align, then it doesn’t work. Yet pain can be one of the most effective motivators to change. When you decide you’re ready to be free of it, then you are willing and able to do what it takes to make that happen.
The Universal Principles of Alignment™ of Anusara yoga are hugely empowering because they teach you how to heal yourself. You learn that there is a method, a consistent pattern that can be used in any position or activity to avoid injury. Sometimes it only takes a few stretches, with precise alignment, done every day, to overcome even major chronic conditions. The magic of it is a mindful choice to align with the big picture of health by moving into your natural, optimal state of being.