Our bodies are essentially a repository for our life experience. It’s all stored there — in the tissues, the muscles, the cells of our bodies. If you aren’t sure about this or just don’t know what I’m talking about, try this.
Imagine that you are sitting quietly at home, studying, reading a book, or perhaps working on the computer. All the sudden, there is a VERY loud noise outside the window.
What happens? Does your mind calmly begin to question what the noise was? No. Instead you feel a very sharp pain in your gut from the adrenaline rush. You have a physical reaction to the noise, not a mental one; you feel it in your belly, not in your mind.
Our bodies hold our memories deep within, and yoga brings them to the fore again. Stretching and moving our bodies through the different postures peels away the layers and often presents us with opportunities to resolve issues we were not capable of resolving before.
Like the neighborhood bullies trying to beat you up when you were twelve, your parents divorce, your first day in a new school, your own divorce, the loss of a loved one, etc… Yoga brings up the undigested events of our lives, the unhealthy life patterns, so that we can digest and create new, healthier life patterns.
This can be both exciting and terrifying!
Many of us have built sturdy, rock solid fortresses between ourselves and hurtful past experiences. Who said we wanted another chance to resolve them?
Well, the beautiful thing about yoga is that nothing is ever forced; change and inner growth are simply natural extensions of our practice. So when those unresolved life issues find their way to the surface, breath into them and allow your practice to guide you through the healing process.
That may mean that you heal and digest past life issues alone in your yoga practice; it may also mean that you reach out for support from fellow yogis or perhaps even a therapist. Whatever your path, listen to and take care of yourself.
And, most important, stay on your yoga mat. It will keep you grounded even when emotional storms rage within you.