To Heal Your Body, Go Beyond the Physical

yoga therapy headshot of yoga therapist lindsay stefanon

(Adapted from a blog post by Lindsay Stefanon)

As we begin to heal our bodies, we discover more about our emotions.

Our body is more than just physical. To say the only part of us as beings is physical is to say that an iceberg is only as large as that which we can see. When we dive deeper into our bodies, we begin to see our Self on new levels: physical, emotional, mental, energetic and more, as we become more in tune with our true nature.

Emotions are a whole science of themselves. We are often taught to hold back our emotions: to swallow, ignore, and shut out, and in the process, losing our ability to feel, an ultimate connector of all living beings. The more we try to push away our emotions, the stronger they inevitably come back at us, manifesting themselves in different ways. Emotions may transform themselves in our minds, appearing as suicidal thoughts, depression, and other mental illnesses. Suppressed emotions may also present them

selves in a physical way: headaches from holding back the tears, hunched posture from guarding your heart, painful hip area from sexual assault trauma, or chronic pain that seems have no medical reasoning.

To feel may be perceived as a weakness, when in reality, feeling gives us freedom and intelligence. Feeling adds a touch of uniqueness to ourselves, as well as a deeper sense of self. Without emotions we become robots, succumbing to a society of numb disconnection. Some emotions are scary – terrifying even, and perhaps this is what began the disconnections: fear of the power and intensity with which some emotions consume us.

But what if they did not consume us?  What if there was a way to just ride the emotions out, to learn why they are here, and let them pass?

When we have a sore throat, we know it is because our body is fighting off an infection, and when we have a bruise it is the result of an injury – these are examples of the physical body communicating to us in clear, recognizable ways. We tend to hear these messages clearly, because we can physically see them. Likewise, our emotions are communicating something to us, and if we do not listen to them, the damage can worsen and spread. We must learn to accept our feelings, in order to understand why they are there.

The first step is to observe the emotion in its entirety: what are your thoughts during this feeling, where do you feel this emotion in your body, and what triggered you to feel this way?

Next, just be in it. Close your eyes, breath, and observe. In this instant, don’t try to push the feelings away, yet don’t attach to them: just bring yourself to the present moment. Bring presence towards yourself by observing your breath, and your surroundings. Maybe you notice the sounds of cars driving by, or you feel the wind on your skin, or notice your feet grounded into the Earth.

After doing so, you may start to notice that intense feeling of anxiety, sadness, or anger has begun to loosen its grip on you. It still may be there, but just a little less. And you begin to realize your Being is more powerful than any thought or feeling. Through presence and pure observation, we can gain control of our emotions, and shift them from shameful or scary to powerful and enlightening.


Lindsay is a registered 500hr yoga teacher, certified yoga therapist, C-IAYT, and the creator of Be Embodied with Lindsay. Her focus is on women and couples who are dealing with infertility, miscarriage, birth trauma and PPD. Lindsay’s passion and Dharma in this lifetime is to empower humans by providing a space where they can tap into innate wisdom, through embodied movement and awareness, to trust themselves, and to simply be.