We are born to heal.
I teach yoga and often say no pain, no pain. I say that because if we do an asana and there’s pain, it means we have to find a way to do the same pose differently. My background in alignment helps me to do this.
Not being a physical therapist or having such training, I don’t believe in working through the pain. I don’t believe the adage: No pain, No gain.
And no pain is good.
Having increased my injuries by not stopping what I was doing or by not seeking the proper help, I know pain is a great teacher. And her main message is that she asks us to listen.
If we listen to pain we learn the lesson to help support healing.
They say one of the goals of yoga is to alleviate suffering.
I think we can take the no pain metaphor off the mat as well. If something I am doing continues to hurt me, I need to listen to the why of what I am doing and the how to find my way out.
The universe wants us all to find healing. The forces of nature in the body work towards healing, as do the forces of spirit within the body and everything around us wants our whole being to heal.
The spirit never stops telling us what its needs are. I find the lesson of life, and the teachings of yoga, have helped me listen a little better.
Most yogis know about Patanjali and the eight-limbed path. Frankly they make sense and I would have to say the limbs I live rest in the seeds of truth I have always known: truths like love and integrity and respect.
But yoga has helped the seeds blossom and grow.
You see I cannot follow any regimen or formula. Call it my Vata nature, call it my free spirit or I can just admit I know my limitations.
But I believe in no pain. I believe in kindness. I believe in truth. I believe in a quiet mind. I believe in prana and the power of breath and energy.
And the path of yoga continues to help me live a life of healing, a life where I alleviate suffering in my own heart and hearts of those I teach and know and love.
So as a teacher with the body I say no pain. As a student of the spirit I say no pain.
As one who practices yoga, I believe my choice to trust my heart and listen to my nature to lead me helps me heal as I live to learn and learn to live.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: elephant archives