One of my favorite yoga instructors used to remind us to take what we learned on our mats out into the world. I never really understood the connection until recently.
When I first started practicing yoga, several instructors pointed out that I carried my stress in my shoulders. Over time I realized how tense I was and actively tried to relax the area throughout the day. I was really caring the weight of the world and I had to learn to put it down. I was oblivious to how tense I was but they could tell simply by looking at me. Over a year ago, I injured my rotator cuff to the point I could not lift my arm at all. I didn’t understand why it wouldn’t heal. That is when I started walking because that is the only exercise left that I was able to do. Slowly but surely, the walking served as a healing meditation. The results were amazing. I was no longer depressed and feeling happy was something that started to come easy to me. As my mind healed, my arm started to miraculously heal as well. My stress and unresolved issues were manifesting in my right shoulder. As I began to let go of the the most painful things that were holding me back, I gained more and more mobility in my arm. Sometimes we forget how important it is to take care of the mind, body and spirit. Balance is crucial and as I did my first balance pose in class today after no yoga for over a year, the pose came naturally to me. I was able to bring the balance I have purposefully brought into my life right into my pose on my mat. Who knew it was reciprocal. I think I finally get it now and I am grateful for the lessons both on and off my mat. Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your thoughts and what is going on in your body. You can heal with patience and purpose.