The practice of yoga is one of balance. Hatha Yoga literally means the yoking of the sun and the moon – and when you practise, you are creating balance between these two energies. The energy of the sun is hot, light and masculine. This balances the energy of the moon which is cool, dark and feminine.
In our culture, we have to a large degree lost the balance provided by moon energy. Even yoga has become hot! Sun salulations, which heat the body, are de rigueur in many yoga classes. In neurological terms, our nervous systems are literally fired up every waking minute (and if you sleep with a t.v. on, every sleeping minute too).
The moon is a beautiful metaphor for the cool qualities that we need to find balance and harmony in our lives. The moon on the water is soft, flowing, meditative. On earth she is reflective, guiding and cool. Without the tides created by the gravitational pull of the moon, it is unlikely that life as we know it would exist.
The same qualities that moon energy provides are also those that help to relieve chronic pain. Gentle soft breathing with awareness, meditation, and quiet reflective movement. Chronic pain is symptomatic of a change in the nervous system. Pain is a sign that the brain is sensing danger. When you have chronic pain, your brain receives danger signals more quickly and more intensely than before.
Research shows that we can change the signals that our brain receives – in other words, we can rewire our nervous systems. Since rewiring the nervous system thrives on slow and subtle methods, yoga is the perfect fit! (I bet you knew where I was going with this:) Slowing movement down with increased breath awareness is key to changing your perception of pain.
Donna offers a holistic perspective on the relationship and healing of physical and emotional pain.