Just before class, there is a very brief, very breath stopping, flash of doubt. What am I doing? I am not a yogini, I am never going to be able to really do yoga. GO HOME. My mind is so scared that I will bend my body into a shape that reveals some self perceived imperfection, that my stomach will fold into rolls, or while in downward facing dog everything that I spend so much time holding up will be sent cascading down. Let’s face it, my 51 year experiment with gravity is complete, and the results are in; it works.
The human mind is an interesting thing; predictable, spontaneous, trainable, hardwired and plastic. A miracle really. One of the things I do off the mat is hypnotherapy. I am an expert in the workings of the mind and have worked with many people helping them to change their mind-literally. I also do this with my own beautiful mind. I have re-routed fear, healed things that were supposedly only able to heal through surgery, and even healed some ‘incurable’ things. Can I use my mind for yoga?
Each morning, after a bath, I apply a light oil to my face. I use a gentle touch to massage it in and with my fingertips send love and wellness into my skin. I whisper over and over, the beauty that you are inside shows up on the outside and the beauty that you are outside goes deep, deep within you. I say the words, healthy, healthy, healthy, strong, strong, strong over and over to myself until the oil is completely absorbed. I thought about all of this today, while I was flat on the floor with my upper body twisted all the way over to my right, legs lifted towards my heart, when I looked down at my waist and saw my worst fear; a roll (of skin or flesh or…what exactly is this roll anyway?) in the middle of the twist. I closed my eyes and said over and over to myself; healthy, healthy, healthy, strong, strong, strong…the beauty that you are inside shows up on the outside…the beauty that you are outside goes deep, deep within you.
I sent love to the roll and breathed deeply. My practice today was strong, graceful and fluid.
I really do love my body, and my mind. I love how they both feel when I send yoga through them.