Wow. This question still echoes in my mind throughout each day as find myself on my mat and breathing into my body. A few months back I was in a special class with a master teacher and they asked this question of me as I felt the sweat drip down my nose and onto my towel while I stared at my hands in Wheel Pose and tried to figure out what was being asked of me – not only from the posture, but from what the teacher was saying.
And that teacher was right. I was avoiding some BIG stuff in my hips. I have had hip and lower back issues for years now. At times, it feels completely healed and then… it will come back up for review. It has been a cycle in my practice for years now. The one thing I know is that everything feels better if I just get on my mat and go through my practice.
But, to have someone that barely knows me or my physical history ask that question made me realize how transparent the issue actually was. It was time to start asking the hard questions, to find the people that might have some answers and see if I could find myself on the other side of this – no longer dealing with this on-again-off-again stuff in my hips.
And I’ve done everything I could in the last six months to get where I am today. I sought out teachers that have been on their mat way longer than me. I read everything I could get my hands on. I asked for a healing. I’ve had emotional breakthroughs as I worked to open up the tightness and strengthen the loosey-goosey parts of me. It’s already been quite a journey. And I know it’s not over yet.
What I know for sure, is it’s working. I believe yoga heals and I allow it to be my therapy. I don’t fight against it. I let it do its magic – even on days I want to run from my mat or the studio, when waves of nausea pass through me, or tears start to slide down my cheeks. I decide to stay and go through it, instead of away from it. My hips and low spine haven’t felt this great in probably about two years. It happens I was avoiding quite a bit when it comes to these parts of my body.
The reason I know it is important for me to really ask the questions and understand things on a new level is because if I can heal this up for myself, there’s no telling how my own journey will affect the students I so gratefully and humbly get to teach. How can you light up a path for someone else when your own path is not so clear and kind of a mess itself?
So, if you have an injury or imbalance, if you’ve been practicing for years and years and there are still things that allude in BIG ways, start asking the questions. What are YOU avoiding? Physical issues are not just physical issues. Everything is connected.
If you can heal the emotional stuff, the physical will respond. Find your teachers. When you start to look for them, they will show up in your life. Trust that you CAN heal. And in that healing, you might just find – YOU.
Tori Hicks-Glogowski is a yoga instructor and yoga business coach and mentor for yoga teachers. She is the author of the book, "Views from the Podium: The Life & Times of a Hot Yogi," and has been writing and sharing her yoga experience for the past seven years. Find out more about Tori now.