Yoga Therapy

Written by Devlin

Is it about fixing ourselves or accepting who we are (or both?!)

It is my routine to collect some feedback from the participants of my retreats after a few months. I am curious to know about the post-effects of such a specialized yoga retreat. I want to know how they feel in general; if they managed to integrate their individual program of yoga, tantra, and lifestyle changes into their flow; if they are observing any changes in their lives, and whatever they feel like sharing. I am not interested in a one-shot excitement, a mere peak experience during the retreat, but rather in creating a change in behavior in the long run.  Both ‘Vibrance’ and ‘The Feminine Way‘ retreats transmit tools to use for embodying the best version of ourselves. What I want to know is, do they really work?

And beyond all that; we bond, we connect at a deep level, and we are excited to hear from one another.

Yesterday, a participant/friend wrote to me that since the retreat, she has been experiencing this euphoric state of joy and gratitude for no tangible reason. When she arrived at the retreat, the dominant theme in her life was melancholy. While some domains of her life are harmonious, there is a struggle around health rooted in an unfortunate accident in childhood. That, among all the other pieces of baggage each one of us carries around since the moment of our conception, coloured her life blue more often than she liked. Now she is dedicating her amazing mind to creating a healthy and joyful life for herself. And I am thrilled to hear, of such good results.

I want to take a pause here from the previous train of thought and delve into our effort to fix all problems with the help of yoga and other holistic approaches. There is a very delicate balance there between doing whatever needs to be done and also letting go to allow ourselves to be. It is a shame if we don’t put the effort into applying all the amazing knowledge and technology that have been serving humanity for thousands of years. On the other hand, how much can we really help ourselves if our minds become obsessed with fixing everything? What we want to achieve is a harmonious state of awareness and perseverance to take the right actions for our particular being at a given time, as well as a deep surrender to the flow and surprises of life. The latter may also mean that, at times, we need to accept the vulnerability of our physical bodies.

It was a shock to me when my dear healer and the teacher told me that she couldn’t tell if my body would ever be strong enough to heal all the little things I was struggling with. I didn’t want to accept such a notion. The fix-it, type-A part of me rebelled against the idea of having loose ends. However, well-being requires active surrender; which comes with not only taking action but also accepting the less pleasant aspects of life. It’s not an easy pill to swallow, I know. However, the very healing that we ask for may be hidden in that acceptance, as it alters our reactions to life situations.

Now, connecting the two dots together; here are the two great ingredients of a healing regime: a positive mental state achieved through the yoga practice and a compassionate acceptance towards our body. A proven fact by scientist Candice Perth, the way we feel has a direct effect on our physical well-being, as well as the other way around. (For more details on this topic, have a look at my blog piece, From Psyche to Soma.)

Now I want to invite you to reflect on your inner journey. Are there areas in your life that require active surrender; where you want to put effort into fixing problems, but at the same time you also perceive a space needed for surrender and acceptance? Your experience may be the inspiration for another; so you are very welcome to drop a few lines in the comments section. Is it about fixing ourselves or accepting who we are (or both?!)

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