The aim of yoga is to eliminate the control that material nature exerts over the human spirit, to rediscover through introspective practice what the poet T.S. Eliot called "the still point of the turning world." ~Barbara Stoler Miller
If you practise yoga, you probably know there are as many different styles of yogas as there are studio and teachers. Which is to say, a LOT. Are they all the same? Not by a long shot. And yet, any style can move you toward better health. As long as you're practising three simple things.
Breath. Movement. Interoception.
It can be such a challenge to practise breathing and movement, it's easy to forget about interoception. (Especially if you don't know what the heck it is.) And why is it so important for a good yoga practice?
Interoception is, simply, awareness of what is happening in your body.
Right. Now. In. This. Moment.
Breath, movement and interoception (moment-to-moment awareness) are the key to the practice of yoga . And, as it happens, they are also key to relieving chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. As pain becomes chronic, it becomes predictable, reinforcing neural pathways for pain in the brain. In other words, practise pain, and you'll get really good at it. Instead, practise noticing what is happening in your body each moment, and you'll become aware of subtle shifts in sensation. The very act of checking into the body changes the sensations and can reduce pain.
Through the practice of interoception, you become comfortable with the unpredictable in your body. Chronic pain roots you to one spot, and overrides awareness of any other sensation. Interoception teaches you to notice that things are, in fact, always changing. With the subtle practice of interoception, combined with easy breathing and gentle movement, you literally rewire your brain and nervous system to new, healthier patterns.
Donna offers a holistic perspective on the relationship and healing of physical and emotional pain.