When I think of “healing” my mind automatically conjures up visions of a soft white light, a warmth, muted colors, hands tucking me into bed for a good long rest. It’s all very safe and sweet and, to be honest, not what actual healing looks or feels like at all.
And maybe, when taking a closer look at my initial thoughts on healing, the truth is that be healed, to truly move forward, you would need to leave that space immediately. It seems so comfortable. It seems so serene. The healing process for most, is far from that.
How would I know? Well, I’ve been through it and am still moving through it, and might always be in a constant state of healing as I collect injuries, not only to my body, but to my mind and soul throughout my lifetime. I also witness others on the daily move through their healing process in each class, workshop, or one-on-one session I teach.
Healing up old wounds is a messy process. Physical wounds carry the emotion of the injury in the very cells they affect. Emotional wounds start to affect the physical. It’s a very cyclical process. And wounds of any kind can stop us in our tracks from moving forward with our lives, from accomplishing our dreams or why we feel we are even on this planet. They are an obstacle to overcome. And, if you allow them to, they will hold you back in every way. They can become the crutch, the reason why you stay stuck, stuck, stuck.
I would like to offer you a different vision of a healing space. Long ago, it became my yoga mat. The colors and materials of all of my mats through the years have changed and morphed, but the space of it remains the same. When I roll it out in front of me I know that this is my time to heal. And I know some of you think that it is all sunshine and rainbows over here, but I assure you it is not. I am human and, therefore, have some work to do.
The first thing I healed was my eating disorder and it is still something I struggle with on and off – the old thoughts of a girl I used to know sometimes still echo through my mind. Then I realized how badly I had injured my left hip doing crazy splits in performance after performance during my years as an actress and how I’m pretty sure I would have had hip surgery at this point if I hadn’t committed to a regular yoga practice years ago. Then, not too long ago, I had someone I considered to be one of my life soul mates personally attack me in a way that gutted me to the core. My back bending practice went all wonky and things that seemed effortless before were now painful. It took me years to gain back what I had lost physically and to come to grips with what happened emotionally, but I am stronger for the journey. And, there, on my mat, I was able to heal.
There are many ways to heal, but the reason yoga is popular is because it is a proven method that gets the inner and outer work closer to being done. You might show up to yoga thinking that everything is fine, that life couldn’t be better. I know that’s kind of how I started. “What a great workout!” But then you tune into the breath. You begin to understand the thoughts that perpetuate throughout your day. You realize you are stiff and tight in spaces you have ignored for years. And that’s when the healing begins.
Your healing space has become more of a sticky, rubber rectangle yoga mat way more than a room filled with soft white light. No worries. It’s where the real work is done. The work that will introduce you to your very best Self and all of the possibilities that await you within this one precious life.
Yoga on, Friends…
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