When I began to practice Yoga, the learning curve was steep. I was impatient and thought it was far too slow. I wanted the class be more like the 80’s style aerobics classes I was used to, with a nice fast pace, lots of action and loud music. Was I in for a shift! And slowing down was exactly what I really needed. I had to learn to tune into my inner state of being and be more aware of what I was actually ‘feeling’ on the inside. You see, when we stay busy and rush rush rush we cleverly avoid facing our fears, emotions, blocks and unresolved issues.
I had to surrender! To learn to check out and pay attention to what was really going on inside of myself; to begin to go more deeply, instead of focussing on just the outside world. (which is, by the way, what we are taught to do)
When we learn to pay attention to the internal aspects of ourself we may find that we are ‘gripping’ or ‘holding on’ from the inside. Take a moment right now as you read this. Is your stomach tight…are you gripping or holding tight? How about your jaw – are you clenching? And your hands – are they clenched too? We tend to hold tension in different parts of the body, which then impedes the flow of energy, restricts digestion of food, can give us headaches and stomach aches etc. This inner holding and gripping can be from having stuffed away our feelings instead of facing them head on. This might include emotions such as sadness, grief, anger, frustration or fear.
What to do when you notice this? 2 suggestions for you:
Close your eyes.
Take some nice long breaths.
Inhale and breathe in relaxation, exhale tension.
Inhale softness, exhale tension.
Inhale light, exhale frustration.
Imagine sending the inhale to the part of you that feels tight, and then exhale all the tension and gripping.
Do a mental scan of your entire body beginning at the top of your head.
Notice the eyes, jaw, tongue, throat, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, hands and fingers. Continue down the entire back, notice the belly, pelvic area, hips, buttocks, upper legs, lower legs, feet, toes.
Each time you notice an area, of pain, heat, tension or gripping – soften and breathe into that place and exhale whatever you have discovered. as you breathe, try not to attach a story to what you feel or notice -instead, let it flow through you. Let it go.
“Time doesn’t heal emotional pain, you need to learn how to let go.”
― Roy T. Bennett