It is amazing to reflect on the inspiration to make changes that all the sudden appears one day and you make the first step. It can be something that you have been considering for a long time and then the day comes when you are sick and tired of being sick and tired or you just decide today is the day! I felt this intensely this spring. I have seen this felt by others in the means of needing to detox or cleanse. As stuckness, heaviness and old wants to break down and release our bodies sync with us to allow this to happen physically as well. Sometimes, this happens with dramatic releases and sometimes we just notice the releasing and the need to go with it. I see it happen in the form of getting ill, sudden aches and pains, bouts of emotions that seem to come from unexplained places...so many forms. This can feel good and we want to push it on and assist the process. I think it is equally necessary to keep "watering" and supporting what we want to nourish which is our center, our spirit, our soul. While our bodies want to exhale it all and push it out, there needs to be an equal surrender and conscious intention to bring in support, the inhale, the anchor so that we are continuing to feed what is going to be strengthened. If we exhale and let go too much then we are depleted and what is left is not supported enough to carry us to the next phase which is the building, the growing and the nourishment of what we are trying to bring out. So, we need to ride the wave of release while all the while drawing in with the same tenacity our ability to feed ourself the breath, pleasure, good thoughts, beautiful food, positive words...anything that comforts our spirit and allows it to shine brighter and feel expanded.
My challenge for me is to "up level" my physical practice by first up leveling the breath and my allowance of support of my deep center before I move and go deeper in the poses. I can easily just muscle my way into a deeper twist with my shoulders and neck and say..."I am releasing out tension and stress" but am I then supporting this with a deep inhale to spark more of the spaciousness and ease that I want to create more of in my body and am I doing this from a place of groundedness and anchoring of what I want to move from?
I have been practicing Forrest Yoga with Angelina Vasile for about 6 or so months. This yoga style has heavily influenced me and my teaching. Originating from founder Ana Forrest, this practice allowed me to truly see some physical and emotional barriers to me really seeing and stepping into my true self. One of the physical items this practice showed me was my moving and holding of my body up by my shoulders and neck. This had been a place of chronic tension for me for so long and after a few forrest yoga classes...ding, ding the light when on as to why. Of course this also had a deeper more emotional correlation but for now I want to focus on what I learned physically. I was trying too hard to exhale and force the asanas to do their thing for me with a dismissal of the importance of supporting myself and moving from a deeper more connected place. For me "up leveling" became not making the poses more challenging physically but doing them from a different place and not trying so hard. Learning to use different, less developed muscles was challenging as I saw how "weak" these were and how "over developed" my neck and upper traps were. Balance was not a factor. I had to also start to breathe more and notice when I cut myself off from this important anchor."Inhale longer" my teacher told me today and "Ah ha!", it all made more sense.
Sometimes, what we need more of is not the exhale or the letting go but a strong focus on filling up with the support so that when we exhale and let go it is from wholeness, from integration, from a place of knowing we are supported that we can ease into the new creations that are opening up for us.