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What is it that calls us to go deeper? To live a life with more meaning and purpose? In many ways we are propelled to go deeper through our suffering, our pain, our trauma...but only if we listen to the guidance that whispers to our hearts and trust that this whisper is in fact our soul calling us home.
I began my yoga practice when I was 22, in my bedroom with the book "Light on Yoga, by BKS Iyengar" to help with my chronic back pain. When I think back to my early teens I loved to workout and have always connected breath with movement, it's just something that made sense to do and I found it allowed me to increase my endurance and will power when the workouts got challenging. As I was practicing yoga in my bedroom I really had no clue what I was doing but would pick a random page and read how to do the posture and do my best to execute and I started to find some relief from my back pain. The pain that I was experiencing was the kind that hurt to sit down for too long, it was a deep irritating ache. I had also been diagnosed with tachycardia at age 11 and thought it might be helpful in controlling that as well. Tachycardia is a heart condition that affects the mechanisms that regulate the heart beat. This problem is set off by certain movements like throwing a ball really hard, or jumping suddenly, it can also be set off by stress, caffeine, and alcohol and what happens is my heart would "click" over to a rapid heart rate. I'm talking 200 beats per minute. The average heart beats somewhere between 65-75 beats per minute.
The first time I had an episode I was at a friends house for a sleepover. We were going to bed and I was lying there watching my heart pound out of my chest. I was a little uncomfortable waking her parents up to tell them my heart was pounding. But I was also a little scared, so I woke up her mom and luckily she was a nurse and thought it might be tachycardia and was able to explain the exercises I could try to "click" my heart back to a normal rhythm.
I was later diagnosed with supra ventricular tachycardia, which is the better kind to have because the chances of going into cardiac arrest are low. I just had to learn to manage it with specific exercises and deep breathing to help regulate my heart and reduce feeling lightheaded when I was having an episode.
So I figured yoga might help heart regulation and chronic low back pain. The low back pain stemmed from what I believe to be a broken or sprained tail bone from a fall I had about 7 years before I started practicing yoga, that fall, and I believe emotional suppression, since most physical pain is linked to emotional trauma of some kind, big or small. What happens with emotional trauma is we tend to ignore it because it makes us uncomfortable and it eventually settles into the physical body as pain or disease. I know I suppressed it because it was the way I was raised. My Dad left when I was 12 and my family responded with lots of anger and actually encouraged anger, leaving anger as my go to response until my soul began to whisper to me, leading me toward the path of peace and purpose.
When viewing the subtle energy through the chakras I found that the root chakra is linked to our basic survival needs. Our need for stability and security when unmet can lead to low back pain, and sciatic nerve pain. Even the fall that I had was an expression of needing first chakra attention on a subconscious level. When I looked at all my issues as a whole, everything I had going on physically, including the tachycardia, I began to see a bigger picture. My parents were having some issues before my Dad jumped ship which is around the time the tachycardia began. An imbalance in the heart is a response of feeling unloved and unlovable and I must have had a tendency toward tachycardia and boom there it was. This was how I internalized the issues my parents were having. Can you relate to internalizing things using only the tools you were raised with? What was the physical and emotional result for you?
Fast forward to practicing yoga in my bedroom and then a short time after beginning that practice I came across a Kundalini yoga video and began doing that every morning along with my yoga book and Zen meditation. There was a lot of breath of fire, or panting breath..breathing quickly in and out through the nose mostly by the movement of the diaphragm, and chanting in a language that I didn't know yet felt somehow familiar. I was moving my spine and panting and chanting, and meditating and before I knew it I was feeling better. With continued practice my back pain went away completely, my mind was more focused, and the tachycardia was reduced. I began to wonder what it would be like to teach others this healing practice? That's the moment the seed was planted to become a yoga teacher. There was something so special about this practice! This seed would lead me to become a Reiki Master because I had a lot more healing to do and learn first but thats a story for another time...
Tell me in the comments below where the whispers of your soul have led you.
I almost forgot to mention the 208 hour online yoga teacher training certification that is now available! Check it out after you comment.
Namaste and Love,
jennifer is a mother, entrepreneur, artist, writer, peace activist, yogi, holisitc wellness and body work expert, and just a general lover of life in all its forms!
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