It’s been a month! How are you?
I’m still teaching from Colorado for another two weeks as I continue to rest and heal my body. When I left LA in June, I barely had energy to walk my dog. My body kept having an allergic reaction to more and more foods and my skin was constantly red and irritated. I’m recovering. It’s been a slow hill with lots of detours, but I’m up to walking 2 miles most days and I’m no longer bright red — that alone feels like a huge victory!
I’ll share more later this month about working with a functional doctor to heal and how my yoga practice has been a huge part of that process.
In sharing about my own health earlier this summer, it opened up so many conversations with friends and many of you about the pain we keep hidden to appear like we’ve got it all together.
What’s been driven home for me through my own experience and listening to others is that we are all here to heal in some way. Healing is how we grow and impact the world. To open to healing first requires that we acknowledge to ourselves where we’re hurting and to hold out hope- a vision even – of what healing would look like.
as I was thinking about this I came across these words from yoga teacher Bo Forbes:
We are all broken. We are all, also, whole and unbroken. Broken, unbroken: there is no difference. What if, instead of hiding the seemingly broken parts of ourselves, we brought them into the light of human regard? What if we shared them with others, not in a here-is-my-terrible-story or look-how-life-sucks kind of way, but with compassion? What if we agreed together to hold in gentle, cupped palms this fledgling and wounded self, and to sit and breathe with the feelings that self evokes in us? What if that were the true practice of yoga?
I think to hold our brokempness and unbroken ness is to do the work of healing. In my own experience, to use yoga practice to heal means beginning with what hurts to assess how to proceed. It requires clarity to envision what healing would look and feel like in our life — when we are injured or in distress it can be hard to see beyond the pain. When I work with students recovering from injury or illness, part of the work we do is to feel into what feels good in the body because our mind gets stuck in the pain. But we also hold space for our pain and our fears, because when we shut them out, we shut down parts of ourselves — we cut off our wholeness. So we hold our pain with compassion AND we lean into what feels good as a guide forward.
the work of healing goes beyond the physical. We are called to heal wherever we feel out of harmony in our life. So often our first response in our culture is to think we have done something wrong or that we need to improve ourselves. To heal is to feel into our own struggle with compassion.
To use yoga as a healing practice requires approaching ourselves with nurturance and a desire to understand ourselves rather than trying to fix. When we approach from nurturance we become lovingly aware of our patterns rather than judgmental. When we approach in this loving way, we offer ourselves space for healing.
What would it mean for you to heal? What would it feel like? What would it look like in your day to day life?