The Psychology of Yoga

I think most people don’t realize just how psychological of a practice yoga is.  And I don’t mean examining your fear of going upside down for handstand, or finding out what emotion is blocking your twists.

I mean, in order to really practice yoga we always have to be examining and working with ourselves – every day, in every part of our lives.  This can seem exhausting and tedious (yet another piece of our psychology to examine!) but I believe it is the lifeblood of any true practice.

I got really irritated with my partner this week.  He called me out on a behavior I’ve been exhibiting and he did it in a way that reminded me of my mother (doom!) and of course I immediately hated him for it, even though I could also immediately see that he was 100% correct.  Furthermore, I knew for a fact he wasn’t trying to be mean to me, but I felt that he was.  I spent two days grappling with this.  What finally resolved it?  A Kundalini meditation.

I chose the meditation out of desperation, basically.  I couldn’t reason my way out of the thicket and even doing my mental screams and leaning into the anger had no effect, the problem just went on and on.  I was a mess.  And when I feel that bottomlessness only two things work, talking to my well-seasoned therapist (who is now very retired and traveling) or going deep into my yoga practice for the answer.

The meditation I chose was specifically for anger.  I just wanted to be able to calm down.  And, as Kundalini inevitably does, the 11 minutes of the meditation revealed to me something deeper and so much more precise than I could ever have imagined.  Not only did the acute anger shake out, I almost instantly knew exactly what the seed of it was, and could start to work with it right away.  I am looking forward to the next 38 days as I continue the full span of the meditation.

Yoga is a powerful practice when we are willing to honestly self-examine (even if we’re reluctant at first).  What meditation will you choose today?

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Isabel Spradlin
Isabel Spradlin
Isabel Spradlin is an LMT and abdominal adhesion specialist in Portland, OR. She specializes in educating people about manual treatment (massage) for abdominal pain and dysfunction, especially when it is adhesion related. Please see the "Programs" page to see her offerings.

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