Yoga helps. It heals. It gets rid of emotional blockages and psychological pain. It brings peace. It brings clarity. We’ve all heard this at one point or another. And I’m sure we all wonder – how?
Yoga helps by teaching us how to create space. Our demons reside in our joints. Achy, stiff joints are permanent residences for the demons of our past. To get rid of these demons we must lengthen our joints. Create space so that the joints can breathe and release the demons holding them tightly together. Once these demons are gone your joints will be free to move easily and pain free.
The same applies to backbends. Bending backward is so difficult for many of us because it requires (amongst other things) flexible back and shoulder muscles as well as a flexible hip joint. For a long time I wrestled with a stiff upper back. After years of practice I’ve managed to overcome this challenge….only to realize that I’m unable to access and push the hip joint up. And this will take a few more years to overcome. The point is that the only way to let go of years of deep rooted fears and blockages is to spend years creating space between the bones and muscles so that the tightly held demons are let go.
To overcome past samskaras it is important to crack yourself in two. For instance, when doing the Urdhvadhanurasana I’m almost trying to split myself into two, body below the sternum and above the sternum. For the next couple of years it will be focusing on body below the hip joint and above the hip joint. The practice of reaching within yourself to access an area which has been ‘sleeping’ automatically infuses this place with new life…and also enables you to release the ghosts of lives past.