Although Yin Yoga and meditation have endless benefits, one of the main points I want to discuss today is how yin yoga improves your relationship with your body.
“What we cannot hold, we cannot process.
What we cannot process, we cannot transform.
What we cannot transform haunts us.”
– Joseph Bobrow
Our past lives in our bodies. And to the ancient Qigong masters, all physical and mental diseases arise from unseen, unprocessed and dormant emotions hidden in our tissues.
Those energies stuffed down will haunt us as chronic pain, sickness, and even cancer. Like the dust-bunny left upswept from below our bed, the longer we avoid them, the bigger they grow.
So many of us in our modem world stay disassociated from our bodies because we are afraid to feel. We stay in the conceptualization of disease, rather than dive into the felt sense of its root cause. We walk around like a head on a pole, hoping that someone will fix our body, as though it were a machine that has failed us.
It is not wrong to be afraid.
Staying in our head is easier because it provides the illusion that we are in control. When we journey into the body, we quickly realize we are out of control because the body is a part of nature.
The body is wild.
It doesn’t lie; it doesn’t know how.
It doesn’t weave complex narratives to justify feeling.
The body simply feels.
Practicing Yin Yoga Improves Your Relationship with Your Body
The practice of yin yoga is about re-establishing a relationship with your body – a relationship that doesn’t objectify or establish dominance, but one that is truly caring and helps to renew our intuitive capacities.
Unlike hatha yoga, whose modern version focuses on enhancing seamless postures and flexibility,
Yin Yoga’s Sole purpose is to Awaken Inner Listening (Interoception)
And also to allow energy to flow through the forgotten channels of the body.
The Taoists say that the human body is a microcosm of the universe; every organ has its own unique wisdom, intelligence and spirits that mirror the intelligence of heaven and earth. When we listen to our body, we listen to the elements of earth, the virtues of heaven, and the wisdom that is expressed in all beings ever created. This knowledge is far more vast and rich than the cut-off, top-down approach of a head-centered life. It is said that the ancient yogis had awakened feeling in every patch of skin, and every organ of their body, even their brain.
If we are truly interested in awakening, we must let consciousness infiltrate every inch of our body, including the dark corners.
When we first begin practicing, it is not uncommon to be met by the realities of how we have abandoned our body.
Aches and pains, unprocessed memories and emotions are likely to surface.
Yin yoga gives us the container to hold what arises.
To feel it, process it, and transform it. Patience and skillful teachers and therapists can help us navigate this terrain. Over time though, the terrain evens out, and the clarity emerges from the depth of this wilderness is more robust than the thin floor of avoidance we had been tiptoeing along for so many years.
What we feared becomes our refuge; a wisdom space that reminds us of our inherent belonging and timeless connection.
Practicing Yin Yoga improves your relationship with your body. When we practice Yin Yoga, we can become more powerful, more resourceful, more full versions of ourselves.
For those of you who are interested in deepening your practice, I teach Yin Yoga Teacher Trainings, Level 1 and 2, so you can learn more about this intensely intimate practice.
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