As a yoga therapist I get to see people at what they think is their weakest state, they may be injured athletes, aging people with sedentary lifestyles, or people dying from cancer. My perspective on our first meeting is far from what their projection of themselves is. They usually come to me as their final hope. The treatment may not be working, their doctors say they need more tests, or the chronic pain has gone on too long.
What I see, is their greatest potential. If there is a speck of faith within them, it is my duty to find it and hold it in front of them. Like a seed with its infinite potential and possibilities, we begin the work. “The work” is never the same, even if two have the same diagnosis. And the results of our time together are just as individual.
For the injured athletes and aging, many times, our work begins with finding some relief from “the monkey mind” and letting go of the belief that they need to go backwards. Many times I hear that they just want to go “back in time to when….” Only when we realize this moment as anew, and accept ourselves where we are, broken and all, do we propel ourselves forward to where we need to be.
When we make space in the mind, by dropping a piece of our old beliefs and patterns, and allow what is broken to be broken, we begin to feel what is whole. It is this little flag of surrender, the seed for faith, that when watered begins the transformation.
With constant attention, breath, and micro movements, range of motion increases along the spine. Once they start to feel the space created from their attention and focus, the motivation is greater in making the desired change and a feeling of empowerment as a co-creator in health occurs.
I have witnessed people’s yoga practice advance with the focus of attention and breath to relax the pain they are living with, and awareness of bhandas(muscular contractions for stabilization). Yoga Therapy gives us an opportunity to slow down and practice REAL yoga. I have witnessed a certain “Embody-ment” in the therapy sessions regardless of the hurdles, because of the hurdles, that occurs much faster than what I have seen with my healthy, uber-flexible students.
When we drop the goals and look at life happening within us we make space for healing to occur. Hope is a goal, Faith is surrender to accepting what is. By allowing what is broken to be, we have the potential to discover the infinite healing space within.