It is usually strongest in the spine strengthening series after I have stretched my neck and shoulders then turn my head to the side and just rest while taking deep breaths. These are typically the areas in my body that become tense when I'm feeling stressed out.
After recently re-visiting the place in the UK where I used to live, I needed to process some feelings of 'letting go' so I could make space to focus on all the great things happening in my life now. Four years ago I was living and working in Leeds when I flew back to Vancouver for Christmas... and then never returned to England!
(the flat I lived in)My poor flatmate had to pack up my things and ship them all the way to Vancouver. For four years I felt like I never got to say goodbye to all the things I loved about England and I constantly wondered what my friends were up to and if they still thought of me too. During that time I completely changed career paths to become a Bikram Yoga Teacher and met the love of my life and got married.
(a good place to shop for fresh flowers & candy)
When I was in Leeds this past May I spent a whole day walking around the streets I used to shop on, the building I used to work in, the flat where I lived and the areas my friends and I would go out for dinner to and pubs we would frequent. At every corner I was overwhelmed with the sense that I was walking in the footsteps of my younger self, a little more naive, a little more silly then. I reflected on the changes my life has undergone and felt strong feelings of happiness and contentment, I knew I had made the right decisions to bring me to where I am now.
(inside Leeds Market)At the end of the day I was supposed to take the 6pm train back to my friends' place but I couldn't tear myself away from the familiar view of the city at the door of the train station. Knowing I would never see these buildings, taxi cabs and fashionable people through the same eyes again was sad. I had to leave my younger self behind to linger in the essence of the city.
(one of the arcades filled with unique shops)
After the major life changes in the past four years there is no longer room for her but I will always look back at that time fondly. I went back to my friends' flat on the 6:45pm train and we had dinner and subdued drinks. We have all changed, grown up together at the same pace even though we are the world apart.
(a glass of champs at Harvey Nichols to finish the day)
Often we do not express negative thoughts or emotions we experience in our everyday life. Society doesn't allow us positive outlets for sad feelings; growing up kids are made fun of if they are seen crying. However, all experiences are valuable and should therefore be acknowledged and expressed appropriately.
When you bury emotions that you don't think are appropriate or you don't want to deal with it may seem like they disappear but they do linger and can actually have an impact on your body. Some people would say that the different areas of your body 'trap' different emotions and some people even believe that your thoughts and emotions play a large role in physical ailments we experience.
How many times have you felt stressed out to experience a tight neck or have stubbed your toe and kept re-injuring the same area multiple times? As unbelievable as it may sound, these can be indications of something unresolved inside of you. Bikram's own guru believed that the majority of illnesses people encounter are caused by stress.
Stretching deep into the places of my body makes me realize I have these thoughts and lets me experience a sweet sadness I wouldn't normally allow myself in everyday life. After class I feel meditative and content, and ready to open myself to enjoy the many happy things that are happening all around me right now .