Yoga as a Force for Healing
As I looked at Desert Song’s workshops this month, I was struck by the amazing array of healing modalities being offered this fall. From back care to Ayurvedic cooking, sound healing, reiki and acupuncture to an energy transmission concert; a new intro to meditation, tai chi, and methods of reframing and resolving trauma.
It made me feel such gratitude for this community and how the healing arts supported me in trying times. What a comfort and gift to realize that I have a box full of different yoga tools to support my own healing and keep me steady in the midst of intensity.
In February, my Dad went into a quadruple bypass surgery and then struggled to recover in the hospital for a month before he passed away. I knew I needed to pull out all the stops to keep myself stable, healthy and present. I wanted to share some ideas that made all the difference for me.
Chanting/Sound Healing– During that month I began chanting the Gayatri Mantra. After years of not being able to memorize it, suddenly I found myself chanting it 20 minutes a day. I chanted every morning in the shower and on the drive to work and the hospital. It felt like a dark time and this chant calls in the light! It shifted my energy again and again.
Yoga Nidra/Meditation– I continued listening to my Yoga Nidra recordings at least once a day. This helped me on so many levels including sleep recovery and being able to passively enter deep meditation so I could emotionally forgive and let go.
Breathing/Therapeutic Movement– With yoga poses and breathing my sensitive body held up through major stress, challenge, sadness and exhaustion. Using breathing techniques through upsetting situations allowed me to respond more calmly. This included ujjayi, sitali and the release breath techniques.
Mindfulness/Yoga Philosophy/Community– My studies of yogic philosophy inspired me to self-reflect, discern and make more conscious choices. I felt more comfortable being exposed and vulnerable; I reached out for help from my communities and they opened their hearts and generously gave to my Dad and Stepmom in their time of great need.
Observing Outcome as of Now– I look back over the last five years of losing my Mom, surviving Lyme disease and now saying goodbye to my Dad, and I can honestly say my practice has fortified me, helped me embrace the dark and light within me and made me more resilient than I had thought possible. My practices have shifted how I observe and then interact with my life. It has increased my capacity to pause…and in that pause find that essential freedom to choose.
Acceptance– In all the improvements I’ve seen in myself, I am also very clear that I am human and my humanity continues to humble me and remind me that imperfection is part of the gig. I say, let’s get over trying to be perfect or fully enlightened, and use this sacred practice to meet us where we are and call the best of us into being; foibles, shadows, mistakes, triumphs, joys, and sorrow all held in the healing grace that yoga and the arts offer us.
Are you needing more support? Do you want to feel more resilient? Do you want better tools to handle what life brings? Are you seeking a path for your own progress and potential? We at Desert Song Healing Arts Center want to support you in getting the most from your practice. Check out our fall offerings and know that we are here to help guide you.
Thanks for reading and thanks for being my Yoga Family!