Yoga Supports Embodied Healing
Yoga is a powerful tool when combined with psychotherapy. That’s because emotions and sensations are often stuck within. This includes trauma, stress, anxiety and depression. The body is a great intelligence, incapable of lying. For those who have difficulty articulating what they feel, embodied healing is a game-changing way to do therapy. Even for those who can find the words, the practice of reporting from inside one’s experience is invaluable.
The practice of yoga helps us connect with the part of ourselves, the place within us, that can never be damaged or taken away. It provides us with a glimpse of calm and clarity, acting as a window into ourselves. The more we practice, the more we connect with this state of being. In a yoga-informed therapy, health is more than being symptom free. It’s about awakening.
Yoga Helps Us Listen Within
Aside from vibrant health, improved balance and range of motion, the most tangible way we can know ourselves is through the direct experience of being embodied. Self-destructive habits and thoughts get stuck in how we hold ourselves. The physical postures of yoga, called asanas, focuses our attention inward. We become the body. This is rare in the West where “multi-tasking” is the norm and is the secret to embodied healing.
On a basic level, it’s hard to feel at ease and purposeful when our bodies are full of aches and pains or burdened with illness and discontent.
We live in a time that encourages disconnect. We sit all day, staring at screens, cut off from our instincts and intuition. In subtle and obvious ways, we become numb to our bodily feelings and perceptions. Twenty years ago, when I was a Thai Yoga Therapist, my catchphrase was: “There is no greater sensation than feeling good in your body.” That’s even more true today as we are sitting more and more in front of screens.
As our practice deepens, we develop a keen sense toward things that offer the trappings of freedom but fall short of delivering the goods. It can take many challenging years of practice to reach this place. Be patient. Layers of conditioning need to be peeled away. You’re worth it.