During a recent conversation with a friend, she told me how she cleared emotional energy during a workshop. After decades of holding emotional childhood trauma, she is now ready to release.

Most people come to the mat to relax, stretch and strengthen their bodies, not to stir troubled memories. There are a number of psychologists, psychotherapists and Yoga teachers throughout North America, particularly in the States, that have sprung up because Yoga is a wholistic system that developed so that these trapped emotional energies can release safely.

Ultimately, Yoga is a practice of spiritual transformation.

Blockages are the result of unresolved issues in the body. When working with the mind, body and breath, subtle energy systems also become involved.

Have you experienced this yourself? You are on your way after a Yoga class and you feel a shift in your psyche … something like an emotional clearing. There is a feeling of emotional spaciousness.

Then you have experienced a shift, a release of your past. The body will always come to the defence of any emotional pain or abuse.

As children, we are more helpless to defend ourselves. Built-in mechanisms shut off the pain and continue to do so even in adulthood when the situation no longer exists, no matter how small, acute or chronic the events. These blockages prevent us from realizing our true nature of Samadhi (conscious enlightenment).

Asanas or postures are one path to unlocking the gates of change by releasing inner tension. Western medicine is now beginning to accept the notion of the mind, body, emotional connection through such studies as psychoneuroimmunology.

Doctors, psychiatrists, chiropractioners are recommending Yoga as a system that is mostly treated with pharmaceuticals.

The shift does not occur like a thunder bolt.

One needs to be open, receptive to receive the change. For anyone, a teacher or a student, to force an issue is a violation to oneself.

We can greet ourselves through self-acceptance. There is a relaxing into it. Attention to the breath, keeping a journal of your feelings and thoughts can be useful. We cannot command a release. We can assist by listening and connecting to our own body wisdom.

When I give Thai Yoga Massage, I assist in that process. I am only a channel through that healing process.

Certain poses trigger emotional responses more than others. Camel, hip openers, back bends, twists and lunges are a few. Camel and back bends open the heart. Hip openers can release trapped energy in the groin. Lunges can unleash power in the thighs.

Our time on this earth is finite and sacred. We can celebrate each moment with laughter by meeting that place deep within where potential transformation takes place. We just have to meet it with love.

Namaste.

Lillian Strauss is a Yoga practitioner, reflexologist, Thai massage therapist, movement and music teacher at Energy Works. For information on her classes, contact her at 393-4541 or [email protected]

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