Updated: Apr 11
A friend shared a story with me this week. A friend of hers had received a challenging diagnosis. She experienced all the usual emotions that come with such challenging information; that she needed to read all the information, that she needed to gather everything she could that would help her to understand her condition. In this moment of distress, her therapist gave her the most beautiful advice.
“You do not need to become an expert on your condition, you need to become an expert in who YOU ARE and what YOU NEED.”
This resonated strongly for me, because having my own challenges, it has been this support that yoga has provided over the years, that has been the most profound. It doesn’t matter what my challenges are, but that I understand who I am in the face of those challenges and that in better knowing myself, I become stronger in meeting my own needs. This is because yoga is the practice of moving toward wholeness. It is a beautiful compilation of tools that allow us to gently pick up all our fragmented parts and lovingly weave them back together. It is the original somatic therapy, which teaches us to honor all the parts of ourselves including our shadow self, the parts of ourselves that don't feel lovable or worthy, and those parts of us that haven't had our needs met.
This knowing comes from both your body and your mind. The awareness that yoga cultivates, especially through the quieter, softer practices like restorative yoga, builds both a sensitivity and a resiliency. You become more aware of those subtle internal cues within your body and this awareness strengthens your ability to KNOW when your body is alerting you to how you really feel in different situations. As your ability to listen to your body grows, your resiliency follows because you can honor those subtle cues and will find yourself going beyond your internal compass less frequently.
This is a practice of truth, of Satya. How am I really feeling in this moment? What is my body telling me? Are my words matching what I am feeling in my body or am I reacting from a pattern that I have created to stay safe? Am I fawning and telling the other person what they want to hear and going against the message that I feel in my body? Am I saying yes, when what I need to say is no? Am I withdrawing, when what I need is connection?