We hold so much in our bodies. I like to look at this from both sides.
Bracing ourselves as we push through our to-do list creates problems when we find ourselves in unexpected pain – pain that often won’t seem to budge and feels unreasonable and inexplicable. We get cross and frustrated, wondering why our bodies are letting us down. So as well as the physical pain, we now feel even worse about ourselves.
Our bodies hold so much wisdom and information for us to discover, to help us learn how to live better. We can tap into this rich source. We can learn to listen to the signals long before the pain starts. Yoga provides such an opportunity. So now physical pain becomes a gateway to learning how to live more fully.
Releasing held patterns of tension
We don’t need to strive and problem solve our way out of the stiffness and pain. Our attention is powerful enough. Try it. Next time you feel pain or aches, try pausing and holding the sore part of your body in your awareness. See if you can bring kindness and curiosity to that awareness, rather than anger and frustration. And then just notice.
Or come and try a class. I specialise in slow, gentle, mindful yoga to help tune into what the body is trying to tell you. I guide you to move in a way that is respectful and accepting of where you are today, allowing patterns of held tension so release when they’re ready, trusting the bodies own wisdom.
Creating a safe space
Yoga can be so helpful for relieving stress and anxiety, and yet it can be so hard to come to a class when we are suffering in this way.
Having struggled with stress and anxiety myself, I understand how hard it can be to even think about coming to a yoga class. It can take so much courage! I work hard to create a safe, welcoming space to allow my students to learn to unwind and experience what it’s like to put down their worries, even for just a short part of their week.
There is no pressure to keep up with the class. Zen yoga comes with the Buddhist philosophy of brining kindness, acceptance and curiosity to whatever you are doing. This can be hard at first, as we are used to over-stretching and striving, but it is worth practicing, both on the mat and off.