#reverb10 Day 19: Healing

December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)

Without a doubt, my yoga practice was a major catalyst for healing this year. While I took my first Bikram yoga class in 2009, this year my practice became more regular and consistent.

I experienced healing in my body. My muscles became stronger, my joints more flexible and I released a significant amount of weight. (Woop woop!)

I experienced healing in my mind. When I first began this yoga, my mind never shut up.  EVER. The only way to get it silent was to go to sleep.  In the beginning 90 minutes in the hot room was a special kind of torture. The physical discomfort was one thing, but the havoc unleashed in my mind was even more hellish. It freaked out to the point that I would often feel an intense desire to crawl out of my own skin to escape. Thoughts rushed through my mind in an incessant, crazy-making stream. There was a hysterical woman trapped in my head and I didn’t know if I should give her a Valium or just hit her over the head! Over time I think she eventually wore herself out, and I started to notice moments of quiet in between her hysterical screaming. Now I increasingly experience periods of time when she seems to leave altogether  and I’m not even aware of having thoughts. It is absolutely blissful. Yoga practice has become an oasis of quiet for me and I love it.

I experienced healing in my spirit. My spirit is so much more often at peace. There has been some subtle fundamental shift in my view of the world. Nothing around me has necessarily changed, but my view of it has.  It’s very similar to the feeling I get when I rearrange the furniture in one of the rooms in my house as I periodically do. I  know its the same room and the same furniture, but somehow the space seems larger, and everything just looks new!

The change has indeed come about slowly. It has literally been drip-by-drip. Day after day, I have made myself show room in the hot room. I began expecting some instantaneous change. It didn’t happen that way. Days came and went, and it seemed to get harder. Many weeks passed where I felt that I was making no progress at all, and finally I stopped expecting. I just kept showing up. Then I started to notice the most minuscule of changes. The ability to breathe a tiny bit more deeply than the day before. Being able to stretch a muscle a tenth of an inch more than I was able to last week. Each day I would stand on my mat, sometimes rooted firmly into the ground like a mighty tree, at other times swaying like grass on the savannah being moved by a strong wind, fearful that at any moment I might be uprooted. All the while the sweat dripping from and landing on the mat with loud ticks, as if counting time.

Change did come. I don’t know when it happened. It was if one day I looked in the  mirror and noticed that I looked different. I felt different. I felt good! I learned that sometimes it’s better not to watch for change, but to just keep showing up trusting that it will come.

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