I didn’t know about embodied awareness when I started practicing yoga. But I do recall what kept me coming back—to feel sensation, to shift energy and to open the doors of my mind because what eventually followed was the ability to touch into my spirit and see who I was at the center, the juicy, squishy part underneath my hard exterior. This journey led me to see how edges can show up in other ways beyond the physical stretch.
I loathed that my baggage was following me into the studio because yoga was intended to make me feel good and it was the one thing I had chosen as a way of nurturing myself. As a result I found myself wanting to shout out in the middle of class, “Go away negative voices, you are ruining my chances of finding peace and enlightenment over here!”
Luckily all of this drama led me with the desire to learn more about it. I searched for a program that would support my spiritual growth while adding more depth to my yoga teaching and that is how I came to discover Phoenix Rising yoga therapy. As a Level 3 Practitioner-in-training, I was asked to explore my “shadows” and then write extensive papers about them—ah yes, there’s that edge again!
But I had support, a mentor that walked me through it and what I discovered was that being strong did not mean fighting or struggling all the time in order to win, it was actually more about learning to surrender through acceptance and to soften into the one feeling that I was running away from all the time, vulnerability. The good news is that I had the ultimate weapon, the power of choice.
I learned that rather than trying to ignore those little voices or fight with them, I can choose to compromise instead because if they are going to live rent free in my head then I have to at least acknowledge them, right? Over time the lack of attention caused them to eventually pack up and move out. Even though they ring the doorbell once in awhile, I now recognize them when they show up when they wear their disguises and are thankful that Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy has given me the tools to learn how to open the door and say hello, but not necessarily invite them in and for that I am grateful.