“Since you practice yoga, I would suggest specific pranayama and asanas for you to do three times a day”, the doctor said.
That was an unusual prescription.
But even more unusual, was my very presence in the doctor’s office. I hadn’t been sick in years, and by common standards I’d been taking excellent care of myself through proper nutrition, proper amount of exercise, enough sleep.
Yet, here I was with severe heart palpitations, feeling more feeble and weak then ever in my life. The doctor put out several hypotheses while deciding over what tests to perform. I trust he won’t jump to any heavy prescription and will look into more holistic stuff. However, he’s quite surprised that I walk around, much less teaching still.
I’m even more surprised then he is, but for a completely different reason:
How could this happen to me?
I felt drawn to practice and teach yoga because of the strong emphasize on self-development. Enthusiastically, I maxed up my already huge teaching load, and decided to power up my personal practice as well.
My aim was to leave by the book, so to speak, and embody what in my opinion was the perfect modern yogic and the model for wellbeing this prototype represented.
I expanded my physical practice to include things that would challenge my muscles to grow and get stronger.
I shifted from vegetarian to a mostly raw, vegan diet, following the recommendations of the experts in the field.
I meditated twice a day, following diligently my teachers’ recommendations.
Yet, after a short while, my whole body was contracting and aching in protest. I considered it a natural part of the process, and I thought I would adapt in time.
I somehow came to believe that I’m bullet proof, so I ignored an old hamstring injury that kept flaring up repeatedly. No pain, no gain; right?
I thought that good nutrition, and good quality supplements would speed up my body’s ability to recover. I increased the amount of fresh juices, and dark leafy greens. I refused to even consider that my body, due to age and genetic factors, may not be able to absorb all the iron and other minerals from that idealized diet, especially when I transitioned quite abruptly.
I didn’t get enough sleep either: our son had been waking up countless times during the night. We didn’t want to put him on sleep medication, and no herbal remedy ever worked on him.
Shortly, the overload of mental and physical effort took a toll. I felt very tired and overly challenged.
I trusted expert advice coming from outside, while ignoring the wisest of all teachers: my own body.
As result, I kept going downhill.
My daily routine, once involving power yoga and running, became a dream I could remember vaguely, through the fog of pain and growing frustration.
Weight crept in: 22 extra pounds for me to drag around. I had to stay active to get back in shape, but I couldn’t move because I was in pain, and each additional pound made walking even more difficult.
Gentle yoga posture, and breath work helped me cope with pain and preserve some flexibility. Yet healing wasn’t happening. Even worse, my meditation practice as I was doing it back then, seemed to have a completely opposite effect from what I needed.
One morning I woke up feeling that I reached my last hour. My heart was pumping hard and fast, and chest pain onset. Feeling the darkness growing thicker, I left a hand written disclaimer entrusting my husband with our son’s care and making few provisions for both of them. Just making sure I leave things neat and clean in case I won’t come back.
Then my husband rushed me to the doctor, for my first visit there in years.
Fast forward three years later…
The pain is gone, and so are the 22 extra pounds.
Recent lab tests showed astounding results. My iron levels went up. I rebuilt hormone levels back to normal without any medication, and waved palpitations good-bye.
My doctor was happy, but not too surprised. A great proponent of yoga and meditation himself, he insisted on a natural approach without using hormones or any medication. He pointed out that I have everything it takes to make healing happened, and encouraged me to trust myself and get creative.
And so I did.
Deconstructing the Miracle Of Healing
I had to listen to my body, acknowledge its wisdom and get my own ego out of the way. I had to consider and address my specific limitations instead of ignoring them. I had to stop bullying myself into following practices that didn’t feel right, for the sake of proving that if experts have done it, I can do it too.
I went back to re-asses everything I have ever learned. I needed a different approach to get different results. Up to that point, I had worked on different levels using different techniques, each of them aimed to produce specific results. Each of them was efficient on some aspect of the problem I was trying to address; yet none of them taken individually produced the desired global outcome.
And I thought … why not weave them all together?
I took time off, away from the everyday routine, to break faulty patterns. I could concentrate on removing deep-rooted energetic blockages. Energy therapy made physical pain disappear, and I could jog again. It was a good start, but I knew that if I’d stop there, the results would be short lived.
Being away from the daily routine also allowed me to focus on my challenges by making an objective self-analysis. I realized I had all symptoms of being ungrounded: lightheaded, palpitations, weight gain, difficulty to finalize tasks – to name only a few. I was taken aback.
Grounding, a central element of so many spiritual disciplines and psychology – was something that I had neglected over the past ten years or so, just because yoga doesn’t place much emphasize on it. When I reconnected with the years I spent in of Martial Arts, grounding appeared in a different light. What was I thinking all this time?
Grounding helps reorient a person to the here-and-now and in reality. Grounding skills can be helpful in managing overwhelming feelings or intense anxiety, and help someone to regain their mental focus from an intensely emotional state.
Spiritual traditions refer to grounding as our modality to connect with Nature and Earth energy. There are meditations and visualizations techniques to channel ground prana upward through the body to cleanse and strengthen the energetic body. With the strengthening of its energetic substrate, the physical body strengthens as well.
Such practices lower the brain waves closer to Schumann Resonance, the vibrational frequency the Earth. Low brain waves define deep states of relaxation that allow for healing processes to onset.
Grounding has become the core of my daily practice.
Specific yoga sequences, breath work, and new meditation techniques developed around grounding, resulting in a balanced, powerful practice.
The new kind of practice boosted my energy, and regulated my metabolism. As a result, I started to loose weight fast and steady.
I had to go deeper still.
Could long lasting healing happen in guilt and resentment-ridden inner environment?
Pent up difficult emotions, grudges we hold against people who hurt or let us down, or even grudges we hold against ourselves for having underperformed or failed at some task – they all feed the pain body.
All the energy wasted into entertaining hard feelings and holding onto things that no longer serve me, could be freed. I could use all that potential for healing and creating.
Unburden myself of pain, blame, and resentment: the very thought of it was appealing. But how to actually do it?
I revisited painful incidents from the past, conflicts with others and myself, and followed the one piece of advice sages of all time offered: I made peace.
Healing the Pain Body
Forgiveness didn’t come easy: letting go and moving on, was hard. Getting my small and petty ego famished, without anything to sink its sharp teeth in – easier said then done.
That small voice inside urged me to keep going on blaming others and resenting them forever. Which implied resenting myself as well, for all my shortcomings.
Paradoxically, it is easier to entertain resentment then it is to forgive and move on. I learned realized that it takes strength and courage, to let go and forgive.
At the end of this road I found healing, joy, and a new outlook on life.
My personal quest for healing has opened new avenues: it gave my practice a deeper meaning, and it taught me the importance of being receptive to my own body.
What is your healing quest?
What do you hold on to?
Who are you to chase your healing miracle, no matter what, you might ask?
Who are you NOT to?