Why are we doing this?
Why are we doing this? What is the purpose of this practice? This came up in a recent yoga class.
And it’s a great question and whilst the question was specific to rolling around on the floor (very unyoga like) it also relates to all of the bodies of work I offer and to many other aspects of day to day living.
As a way of learning (from childhood) we create pathways as a way to survive and remain part of our tribe. We learn values that allow us to be loved and included, we also learn how to ride a bike, how to drive a car, how to exercise competently, how to make love AND how to protect ourselves from feeling shame, anger, grief, rage and/or pain.
Sometimes those pathways become fixed, they become our “go to” even when they do not serve us anymore. This can lead to our world becoming scarier and our safety being limited to staying small.
The physical practice of yoga, coupled with heart felt intention, helps us to create/develop new pathways – this is neural plasticity or the ability for our brain to create change. These changes can impact the whole of our life from our thoughts to our action and our biology.
And because our body and our mind are not separate, working with the mental as well as the physical, top down and bottom up helps to really anchor those changes.
Meditation or mindfulness practices gives us an opportunity to notice what we are thinking and from that we get to choose to do differently, and when we move our bodies through unfamiliar terrain it creates opportunities for our resistance or judgement, sensations, anger, projection to come up, because we maybe going beyond our current comfort zone.
And often those sensations of resistance can come up because in the past we were not given choice to say or do what we needed and so we internalised that experience. Locking it down.
That internalised stress sensations or survival responses are what lead to a build up of stress (when we don't attend to it), and when repeated they become our patterns, we build up the stress, it shows up in our thoughts, our actions and our biology.
In my classes or private sessions you will always be given permission to choose what feels right for you.
Because my work is based around healing by experiencing through sensing the body and its patterns and reactions (Somatic Therapy or Somatic Experiencing) my yoga classes are not necessarily typical of the formal yoga practices that many people have come to know.
Practicing yoga with intention, awareness, variety, curiosity, play and sensing creates ground for more experience, to grow our capacity and our ability to play in more of life and these things lead to better health, resiliency, joy, compassion, freedom and appreciation for your one precious life.
In my opinion anyway.
Pic is my brand new baby, a beautiful private practice and healing space called The Sacred Well.
Please always feel free to reach out.