The word “healing” means to return to a state of health and derives from the roots for “whole.” Wholeness implies all the parts. All.
Healing can be present or absent in addressing our feelings of unwellness: a condition can be cured while leaving us feeling unwhole. Healing can exist alongside a cure or in its absence. Healing is a sensory experience of the conditions in each moment.
In my experience, healing begins with a realization that the current state - my current state, your current state - is the perfect resolution of forces up to this point. Perfect. Without judgement: perfect in the sense of complete, total.
There is tremendous power in this realization: the very realization is a new condition that alters the new totality. This one drop of awareness can alter your entire life.
We are never not whole. But we can sure feel unwhole: unwholesome, broken, part, a shadow of ourselves former or imagined, not what we once were. The truth is that we’re never what we once were, we are new in every breath. Every breath is a resolution of forces in that moment.
How we feel, what we sense or don’t sense, what we are aware of or not aware of, are all factors in that resolution. By the very act of sensing - without words or pictures, pure sensation - we inexorably change the trajectory of our entire organism. Perhaps minutely, but inexorably. And we have the opportunity to add this drop into the mixture every breath. Even minute changes add up at that rate.
Yoga is the basis of my personal healing and so it is the basis of what I teach. Yoga is not postures, though those are among its techniques. Yoga is often translated as "union" and then the question is a union of what, exactly? Often we go to binary opposites that frame our tradition: mind and body, seen and unseen, me and everything else (subject and object).
My experience is that the union of a yoga practice is much simpler, much deeper: the sensation of being myself. While I was never actually separated from myself, I sure can feel that way: we say we're "out of sorts," "out of synch," "not myself today." These are all ways of saying that we sense something is off, we expect find a feeling we can't locate, or there is a void where once we felt something.
This is the fulcrum of wellness. Bringing our sensory experience into awareness. Awareness is not analytical mind, it is not a judgement or even word based; it is prior to all that. My favorite analogy is that awareness is like a light turned on. Discernment, analysis, research, description, judgement all follow on that, logically if not sequentially.
Yoga is a method of cultivating abiding in this awareness, through breath, through posture, through practice, through imagination. As such, it is a practice. It is something we embody, we return to, regardless of our judgements about our "progress" or internal states. The "progress" is in showing up, engaging the practice and noticing the sensations. On that basis, we cooperate with our body's innate intelligence, adjust the intensity, duration or focus of practice.
We also notice our body's adjustments on the basis of our noticing. This recursive, or feedback, loop is the basis of shifting our state. It is how an already whole being can shift into a new experience of wholeness, transforming over time.
Have you experienced this shift in your practice? In your daily life? Leave a comment below and share your experience: one more drop of awareness to shift into wellbeing.
From Google Dictionary
Old English hǣlan (in the sense ‘restore to sound health’), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch heelenand German heilen, also to whole.
all of; entire."he spent the whole day walking"; in an unbroken or undamaged state; in one piece."owls usually swallow their prey whole; a thing that is complete in itself."the subjects of the curriculum form a coherent whole"; used to emphasize the novelty or distinctness of something."the man who's given a whole new meaning to the term “cowboy.”".
Origin: Old English hāl, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch heel and German heil, also to hail2. The spelling with wh- (reflecting a dialect pronunciation with w- ) first appeared in the 15th century.