Is it pain or is it you resisting?
Through the years, I have learnt so much from my yoga practice. Sometimes the body goes deeper, other times it feels tenser. My daily yoga practice teaches me to nurture myself more, to give love to all parts of my body, to accept that not every day is going to be super amazing and bright and that is OK! Yoga is not about doing a pose perfectly and being very flexible, or about being super happy and feeling amazing all the time, but it’s about connecting with your body, noticing where you are today, how you are feeling, where you need to surrender and let go.
I find backbends the most challenging poses and this means they are the ones I need to work on the most. Yoga is about bringing the body, the mind and the emotional self in unity, working in harmony with each other, so if the mind resists, the body will follow also.
My difficulty as I learned was not because my body couldn’t go in the backbend, it is because I was making hard for myself by resisting to let my body go with it. During one of the training classes during my yoga teacher’s training, one of my amazingly gifted teachers Marita worked with me & showed me how I was actually resisting going deeper which is why the pain was created. Every time I attempted backbends, I would feel almost physically ill and I would panic, which meant I wasn’t breathing correctly in the pose. When the breath is not in sink, the pose will almost never work. These physical manifestations were actually the reaction of me going against where my body wanted to go to because of fear. I was afraid to let go and open up. So instead I would resist which created the tension ever deeper. Backbends also require us to open up the chest area which is our heart center and where all the emotions are stored. Working with these poses is a great way to open ourselves up to the world, to live with love and trust in ourselves and the universe. This of course is not always easy, hence why a daily practice is required to continue to progress and improve at this.
In our lower back tension is often created not only by muscular spasms, but also by all the emotional blockages we have created for ourselves throughout our life. Overtime these fears, negative emotions, holding onto things or people too much, closing off and losing trust all create a blocked energy and this makes the back less mobile and the spine less flexible. Start slowly and notice how you feel. Don’t push the body to go deeper and find your edge, but also don’t resist it if you can feel yourself sinking in more. This is when progress is made and when we are able to learn to let go of all that has been stopping us to open our heart and ourselves to the world.
The same principle applies to our everyday living. Are you resisting something which is causing you emotional pain and/or imbalance in your life? Can you dissociate yourself from it and simply observe what is actually happening? Take a deep breath and reflect on where you are at in this moment in time, what is happening inside of you and how you are perceiving this on an external dimension. I am still learning to go deeper, but progress is being made and even tough I find them difficult still, I am starting to enjoy working with my mind and body and just letting it all go, being in the moment and surrendering.
“The teacher appears when the student is ready “ …Thank you Marita for teaching me to surrender