I’ve heard about and have seen emotional breakthroughs in yoga practice, and I’ve witnessed those emotions in others. This weekend at the Todd Norian workshop, I experienced an emotional response to a deep pose in my own body.
Near the end of the last session (5 hours), I volunteered to demonstrate Hanumanasana (front splits pose) because I have been working on this pose for over a year, and I wanted to learn how to go deeper. With everyone in the workshop looking on, Todd helped me get into the correct alignment and from that fully engaged position, he asked me to hold the pose and also to reach each arm over my head. I was tired, admittedly, at this point, but I was working so hard to maintain the integrity of the pose that I didn’t know if I could hold it any longer. After what seemed an eternity, he let me release out of the pose, and I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude and release that I would have sobbed if all eyes had not been watching me. I was able to compose myself, but the experience left an indelible mark in my heart and mind.
Again tonight as I worked on a deep stretch for my quadratus lumborum (QL), I experienced a similar feeling, although not as intensely. My right QL muscle has been literally a pain in my back and side for months now, and I found a stretch that targets it directly. As I leaned into the wall tonight, letting that muscle stretch, I felt a surge of emotion rise in my chest. A deep sense of relief and release seemed to overwhelm me as the stretch scraped off the top layer of a nasty wound that can now begin to heal.
And so it is with yoga or with anything that truly heals our pain – mental or physical. Sometimes I have endured a heavy burden, when I had the power in myself to release it. I think that the emotions I felt this weekend were trapped and painful memories of long ago that were still trapped in my muscles (muscular tension). Having the opportunity to release that pain by pushing myself to my emotional limit was an amazing experience.
As I continue along this yoga path of healing for mind, body and spirit, I am continually amazed by this wonderful human machine that God has graciously given me. Everyday. Everyday. Everyday. I am more inspired and intrigued about how to make this machine perform at it’s optimum level and so far, the trip has been a blast!
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving Holiday!