During the 12 months I studied to become a yoga teacher, there was always the fear of the “injured person” that might come to your class and how the f*ck do I manage that in a class of 30 other people.
Have you ever been that injured person?!
A common injury in a Yoga class? The shoulder (usually the rotator cuff), a result of pushing your practice waaaay to hard, fatigue, and from doing the same thing (incorrectly) over and over and over again. I am trained in Power Flow yoga and have seen people with yoga injuries way too often (and experienced it myself).
After practicing power flow, I would leave a class feeling exhausted and think that the class was good. (You should never leave anything that you participate in – exhausted – if you do, you’ve gone too far or you’re doing too much). But you see, in the moment, I was searching for a hit of that strong sensation stretch… but all it was, was a distraction from my busy bloody mind. So what I did was replace my busy bloody mind with strong sensation yoga practice. And eventually, as i kept pushing through, the strong sensation turned to injury.
Oops. Now i can’t practice for a while. Or maybe I keep practicing because the pain still feels better than my busy bloody mind.
Well, after my journey of power flow, strong sensation and injury, I can say that the busy mind ain’t going to go away… no matter how much power flow you practice. There might be slight relief from the busy bloody mind but you’ll keep finding something to distract you. Maybe it’s outside of the yoga mat: the dramatic friend; or the shitty relationship; or a few bottles of wine. You’ll keep those things, because the pain or irritation of drama is better than noticing your busy bloody mind.
Eventually something happens, like a “wake up call”. If it’s not the car accident, it will be the operation, or maybe the near death experience, that makes you realise that it’s time for change.
After years and years of strong sensations to distract you from the busy bloody mind, you’re forced to sit still and deal with what you’ve been avoiding for so long.
At first, it’s so frustrating… so many thoughts, so much irritation in the body. But that’s because you’ve never noticed them, and never “let them go”.
You see, if you give the emotion a tunnel to move through, the energy can transform into something else. But if you’ve never given it the time of day, the feeling will stick inside you somewhere and annoy the shit out of you until you “wake up” and be forced to deal with it.
So where do you start to notice them and let them go?
Well, since my power flow practice has gone in the complete opposite direction, I’ve been practicing Yin Yoga. Yin Yoga can still be an intense form of practice (no, we’re not sweating) but because you sit in the pose for a few minutes and explore all the sensations and thought forms, it can feel like a pressure cooker.
Essentially, we’re unblocking the tunnels in our body for the e-motion (energy-in-motion) to move through. We also have the time to notice and process what those sensations feel like. The practice is an intense form of observing the myriad of thought forms that you have, and once you are well practiced, you start to connect what feeling or sensation you have in your body, to a particular thought form that moves across your mind. You connect the dots and you become the zen master of your body and mind!
You get to know your body and mind so well, that you no longer want to ignore that ‘busy bloody mind’ anymore. You start to see your body as an ally that provides you with good bloody advice!
Once this happens you want to spend more time with your body and mind, and you realise you have the power to choose how to feel. No longer do you waste your time with drama, or shitty relationships, or hangovers. Because now, you know exactly what you need, because now, you’re so connected to your body.
This practice, for me, has changed the way I relate to myself, what I need and how I relate with others. No-one is responsible for my happiness, or for the way I feel. If I don’t like something, I immediately know what that feels like in my body and can communicate that clearly, in that moment. Where as before I was disconnected and ignorant of what I felt (I just lived in the busy bloody mind).
In the beginning of your Yin Yoga practice, it’s a good idea to do it with a teacher, so they can guide and support you through the first stages of the pressure cooker. Eventually you’ll practice on your own and love the space you create for yourself! You’ll continue to watch the magic unfold in your life as all the tunnels you unblock, create a streamline flow of richness. The clarity and connection you have to yourself branch out and you are seamlessly connected to everything!
This is the real you.
Feels good doesn’t it?!
– Erin Docherty works with heart felt women, teaching them how to generate more energy from within, so they can thrive in their career, experience more presence and intimacy in their relationships, and get more sleep so they feel vibrant and healthy. She has guided thousands of women just like you, on this energy-activating self-care journey to turn exhaustion into vitality. By using natural modalities like Yoga, Meditation and Aura-Soma® colour therapy, these women are turning fatigue and disconnection into vibrancy, intimacy and love filled sparkles.
Stay in touch with Erin on Instagram @colourmyspirit.com.au and Facebook @ErinDochertyYoga