A few months back I found myself going to yoga consistently and was happy to have stuck with it for a good amount of time. I could even hold downward dog for longer than I ever have been able to in the past! What happens next? I pull a muscle in my right shoulder to the point where I could not lift my arm.
I’m sure you know by now that I believe our mind and body are 100% connected. Our toxic mental patterns create conditions within our body. Therefore, my first thought was “OK, what has been going on in my mind that I need to address?”
It took a few weeks of exploring to come to the realization:
I was straining in life. Pushing too hard out of fear. A fear that I would not have enough, would not be enough. I was reaching for the next step and for certainty.
At the time, a new work season was approaching for me and my husband, which unveils a lot of fears and uncertainties. Will we be able to book enough work? Is there something more I should be doing?
After coming to this realization that straining isn’t the answer, I have made it a point to try and relax more into the flow of life. I do not have to strive or struggle. Let life happen naturally. Allow my shoulders to relax and release their constant tension. I also took a couple of weeks’ rest from yoga and continued with meditation and chakra work.
Now, another connection I made is that straining and yoga do not go hand in hand (duh!). I would say they are in fact opposites. Since returning to yoga, I realized I also needed to take this new mindset to my practice. Instead of trying to get into the perfect pose or overcompensate for my lack of flexibility, I am relaxing into the poses and allowing my body to move as it will, free from tension.
It has not been easy! My “default” posture has been one of tensed up hands/shoulders/neck/jaw for so long that I need to constantly remind myself to let them relax. I know this is a change that needs to be made, and I can thank my strained shoulder for that!
If you haven’t yet been introduced to the mind-body connection, this book by Louise Hay is a great place to start!