As human beings, none of us have an exemption card from pain. It is inevitable that there are times when it feels like our world gets turned upside down and the pain literally makes our hearts ache and our stomachs turn. Whatever the challenge, our egoic minds often like to grab the reigns tightly during these times to give us an illusion of control. One of its primary means of doing this is by ruminating about the past or projecting into the future. It does everything it can to keep us in our heads: thinking and planning, and figuring out how to solve the “problem,” so we don’t have to experience the pain and discomfort any longer. This, in turn, creates more suffering and ultimately, the truth is: we cannot think our way out of our feelings.
As a yogi who has been practicing asana over fifteen years, I have watched my practice transform to exactly what I need when I need it. It always meets me where I am. During these times of pain, I have found it especially beneficial in the day to day survival as well as the long term healing process.
I step on my mat: I know somehow everything is going to be ok.
I step on my mat: The present moment becomes more real than the mental chatter.
I step on my mat: The volume in my mind starts to lower.
I step on my mat: I am reminded to breathe deeply and return to my body—over and over again.
I move and breathe on my mat: I start to sense my strength—which is always there.
I move and breathe on my mat: Going with the flow, I am reminded the pain will not last forever.
I move and breathe on my mat: I am able to open in a way that self-compassion and love is all that can exist for me in that moment.
I move and breathe on my mat: A sense of relief washes over me.
I surrender into savasana: Stripped away of all that is not and return home to that unwounded place within that always exists.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Kersha