By Amy Williams, Kaiut teacher, Colorado USA
As a yoga practitioner and teacher I think it's helpful to remember that our physical body houses not only our organs and tissues but also our emotions, thoughts and spirit. Another way to put it is we have four bodies - a physical body, an emotional body, a mental body and a spiritual body - all existing under one roof. Seeing the physical structure in this light may help to explain the results that come from a yoga practice.
How could it be that 1 hour of yoga can warrant 2 hours of nap time? Why is it that my hip had to hurt (for months) to feel better? How can it be that with the increase of mobility in my pelvis I experienced an old karmic release? Why can I perform the same sequence at two different times and experience two completely different responses? Perhaps the first time the sequence prompted me to bawl my eyes out whereas the next time I was left with a quiet alertness.
All this can be experienced under one roof due to the multi-dimensional nature of being human. I think more often than not people show up to a yoga class thinking they are going to take care of their physical body. And that is true, partly. But consider that what we do to one part of ourselves reflects throughout the entire organism. It's not just your mouth that eats a carrot, your whole self eats, digests, and becomes a carrot. It's not just the uterus that grows a baby, it's the entire organism. And so it is with yoga.
Last winter I participated in a Kaiut yoga workshop with Francisco. I felt reliably healthy and grateful that finally it was my turn to let go and receive a fat dose of therapy. And let go I did.
Several days into training I swelled with toxins that came out of nowhere. Flu-like symptoms are rare for me. I am not without human frailty but illness is not how I usually express my weakness. Yet there I was in bed ill while my teacher, who lives in a different hemisphere, is only 10 miles from me…teaching…yoga…waaah!
The usual culprits of illness; stress, poor diet and lifestyle choices were not what brought me to this point. It was a releasing of my subconscious from my connective tissue. But why now?
Well, I believe it’s because I felt safe resting in my teacher's care so much so that I dropped into my being enough to purge some old… stuff. I am a seasonal cleanser so when I say old I mean really old. My original intention, to take a yoga workshop and care for my physical body, grew exponentially. I was "cleaning house".
In sharing this story it is my hope that other yoga practitioners who go through such an experience can flow with their release and not resist it by placing judgment on the practice. Being aware may help you in the future, if and when a physical/emotional/mental/spiritual release happens. Allow yoga to reveal to you what is hidden and understand for yourself why yoga allays suffering and creates freedom.