Updated: Mar 8
Lately, in my movement/yoga practice I've been exploring organs. I return to these organ tissues often and recently I feel like I've discovered something new about myself. One day I decided to see what it would feel like to do a standing forward fold and imagine everything sort of falling or sliding from my pelvic floor to the top of my lungs and even further up into the roof of my mouth. Then coming up in reverse, I imagined everything gliding back down. To feel some sense of my contents shifting inside of me, I had to let go of any gripping at all in the cavities above and below my thoracic diaphragm. It felt so cool! After doing that for a while, I lifted my arms over my head and voila! They flew up, no effort or strain. I had been feeling kind of sticky in my left shoulder, but alas, this letting go in my organs free'd up my shoulder girdle and arms. Also my spine and SI joints felt relaxed and more open. This really has me thinking about therapeutic approaches to back pain. Perhaps it's the letting go of, not the doing more of that can unlock the pain and stiffness.
Most importantly for me, I realize how vulnerable it is to let go of my belly. To let my shoulders relax. To let my neck do less. These are not new discoveries necessarily, but it hit me differently this time for some reason. All of those places where I tend to recruit or hold, are just the parts that want to protect me, from you SEEING me. What a revelation. And how scary! This kind of discovery allows me to see what it would be like, to really be me. To be me in this moment in my life where being seen and noticed and approved of isn't nearly as important as it used to be. Those holdings in my body are the residue of the old patterns that I've relied on for years as a dancer and a teacher. They are physical remnants of the old me. And finally at 52, it feels safe to let them go.
So when people say yoga helps you to know yourself and the world around you, this is precisely what they mean. I think I get it now. I understand how being in my body can help me discover who I am. Over and over again, as I change. As time passes.