Similarly to my post from last Miracle Monday (about our diagnosis not defining us!), The following is a quote I came across while studying the yamas!
“By performing asanas, the sadhaka first gains health, which is not mere existence. It is not a commodity which can be purchased with money. It is an asset to be gained by sheer hard work it is a state of complete equilibrium of body, mind and spirit.” B.K.S. Iyengar. Light on yoga
In this quote, Iynegar is basically saying that someone who is seeking divine bliss first must start with gaining health. That health is something that you don’t just have and it’s not something that can be purchased. By completing the postures in yoga, aka taking yoga classes, you can start to gain health. That you’re not able to obtain health without working on your mind, body and spirit.
I know I’ve said many times that whole healing comes from focusing on mind, body and spirit, but here is another perfect example! We can’t just focus on our symptoms, we need to approach ourselves as a whole to facilitate healing! You need to address your mind, you need to address your body and you need to address your spirit. Without one piece of the puzzle, you may see improvements, but you’ll never achieve full healing.
Let’s take a made up example. We’ll call her Spoonie Sarah.
Spoonie Sarah was diagnosed with celiac’s, endometriosis and a form of autoimmune arthritis. She has spent many years depressed and in pain. Sarah is constantly asking ‘why me?!’ and always looking for sympathy. Dragging herself to a job that she absolutely HATES, she starts to realize that she loathes every single person she comes into contact with at her office. Starting a gluten free diet was horrible for Sarah because she loved pizza, cake and cookies. EVERYBODY knew how much Sarah hated giving up gluten. She harped on it and would get extremely upset if someone ate it in front of her. Once removing the poison from her system she began to feel better, but still had days where she woke up fatigued, stiff and in pain. Her rheumatologist suggested she try yoga classes or water therapy. Sarah complained that she couldn’t – she’d rather lay in bed and not move because that’s when her pain is the least. She sunk deeper and deeper into depression and her symptoms just seem to get worse and worse. Nothing that she did seemed to help bring her relief.
Now. Let’s take a step back and reimagine if Sarah made a few choices differently.
Spoonie Sarah has a diagnosis of celiac’s, endometriosis and a form of autoimmune arthritis, but she doesn’t let it keep her down! Even though there were so many days where she felt like not moving, Sarah made her self take yoga classes and go to water therapy. The movement and exercise really helped her joints, cut down on her inflammation and really helped her mentality too! Sarah’s favorite foods in the world are pizza, cake and cookies and she was super bummed to give them up. Instead of dwelling on the fact that she’d be missing out on these delicious foods, Sarah took it upon herself to learn new recipes with ingredients that she could eat! After a lot of soul searching, Sarah realized that a lot of the headaches and symptoms she was experiencing at work were due to the stress and hatred she had for her job. She’s made a plan for herself and is now working on getting herself out of there and on to something that she loves. Spoonie Sarah has a regular meditation practice that really helps her be in-tune with her body and connect to her true self. Life isn’t easy, and Sarah realizes that, but she also realizes that if she focuses on the positives in her life she can still live a very fulfilling, happy life!
Sure, I made up these scenarios, but they’re very realistic. Every choice we make plays into our health. Whether we decide to lay in bed EVERY day, focus on the negatives and look for ‘quick fixes’ or attempt to be active, focus on the positives and realize that life is a journey and every step matters – it all factors in to our overall health! Going back to my circle of life post, everything that we consume is ‘food’. And in order to live a healthy life, we need all of our food to be in balance. Same goes for this! In order to be healthy we need to have our mind, body and spirit balanced!
It doesn’t happen over night. We need to exercise patience and love for ourselves. But when we do focus on the big picture we can facilitate whole healing for our bodies!
Have you approached your healing journey in this way? What has worked for you and what hasn’t? Feel free to share in the comments below!!
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!