Yoga for Chronic Pain

Healing is a continual journey toward balance.

There is not a time when we simply arrive to being completely whole.  Life is a process, a journey, full of highs and lows until we pass on from this lifetime.  This is what composes our life experience – continual lessons, coupled with opportunity to grow and learn more about ourselves & the world around us.  Like a video game, we don’t get to the next level without learning the lesson first.  There is no way to detour around life lessons.  It will keep coming up until we deal with it and learn what it has to offer.  We will always have something to work on or learn until we leave this life.

Pain is the universe’s way of nudging us to sit down and listen.  To go within and see what can be learned by this experience.  Pain is a lesson.  This can be very challenging to recognize or admit and often produces sadness and anger.  The ability to feel, even pain, is a reminder that our hearts are still beating and there is something to be gained if we choose to look through different lenses.

Sometimes the lessons are seemingly simple, yet take consistent daily dedication to weave into the way we live.  Sometimes the lessons are much bigger and require most or all of our present energy to be aware of and move through.  When physical pain is so intense, it can seem impossible to consider that the source may be from another part of the being.  Equally as difficult is observing how physical pain and trauma can alter one’s state of mind, emotions and spirit.  When the pain becomes constant, it pulls all focus toward it.  In the midst of the rest of life, one’s focus begins to fixate on one thing: relief.  “How can this pain be removed?  What else can be done?  Please, just go away for 5 whole minutes. “

If there’s anything I can help people understand it’s that pain management is possible in this journey of life.  Learning which methods can guide you through everyday life, when pain is constantly trying to distract from the present moment, makes it possible.  You will learn applicable and adaptable routines that can be woven into every minute of every day, as well as how to release attachment and expectation, as life will play out differently anyway.  A key component of management is releasing the grip.  Releasing absolutes, exploring alternatives, sitting in the present moment and observing something that may have been overlooked before.  This work is SO very hard, but possible.

In this analytical society, we have been conditioned to use our minds as the most powerful source in the body.  Which is ironic, as it is not where our greatest power comes from.  The electromagnetic field of the HEART is 60 times greater than that of the brain.  SIXTY.  This means, when we figure out how to move from the head to the heart, we are 60 times more powerful and can move from our intuition.  The heart truly knows the way.  If only we could get quiet enough to listen. Various techniques are used to be able to listen to the heart by coupling meditation, visualization, mantra, mudra and pranayama.

When we begin to see that our pain is not in vain, that there is purpose behind it, we regain our inner strength.  We start to realize that we can not only rename, but transform our struggle into purpose, into helping others, into connecting and growing in ways we would never have been able to access without going through it.  Experience is the entry ticket to the party of truth and understanding.  We must learn how to give and how to receive, equally.  Finding our way back to balance in every area of our beings.

We don’t like to think that the hurting is part of the process, but you can’t have the light without the dark.  We must learn to see both as equal teachers in order to live a life in balance.

“Yoga is not about touching your toes, it’s what we learn on the way down” – Judith Hanson Lasater