We are all too familiar with the process of conditioning. We see it in others, even use it as an excuse on their behalf...But do we really see our own?
Under the influence of conditioning we slowly revise the idea of who we are. We contract in the face of our fears and our compliances; each moment we don't speak our truth we allow our energy to retract a little... We begin to shrink.
Even things we perhaps wouldn't consider as conditioning have an enormous effect on our physiology and our wellbeing... We are the generation where "text-neck" has become a medical diagnosis. Our energy is shrinking and our physical bodies constantly exist in stress positions. We feel drained, dulled.
However it's been the summer! We've had a burst of vitality from the sunshine... We've felt fresh! We've flocked to the beaches, the parks, the woods and nature in all its forms to reconnect and reenergise and most importantly to breathe and move!
But what happens now we are moving into autumn?
How can we keep that exuberance alive in our bodies as we start to reach for our scarfs and contemplate hibernation?
How can we let our internal light shine so brightly we don't need any other?
We've said it before... And we'll say it again... "What's in the way, is the way". The route to freedom from our conditioning is through our conditioning.
The beauty is we don't even need an intellectual knowledge of what our conditioning is or when it started... Only a willingness to observe the sorts of thoughts that we entertain and unintentionally nourish... A willingness to explore the tension and contraction in our bodies and combine our breath and proper movement to gently release it... An openness to experience the emotions we have 'wound' into our cell tissues so that they can unwind.
In yogic theory, backbends are seen as the route to unlocking endless vitality. When we allow our spine to become rigid from too much time at computers and behind steering wheels we create a pattern of physical tension in the body that saps us of our vitality.
Tension in the neck and the jaw creates a smog in our brain and fatigues our eyes... Tension in the chest creates a permanent line of pull and ache across our shoulders... Tension in the hip flexors leaves our abdominals switched off and our lower backs weak and vulnerable.
And here's the real crux! The world we live in tells us these things that drain us are also the route to restoration... We think we feel tired so we sit down some more and watch a different screen, and strain our eyes and our necks and our backs a little more...
Really we aren't tired, but lacking vitality! And for true vitality to exist we have to learn how to access it from within. We have to reconnect to our breath and our bodies: our true source of restoration!
As we open up our bodies we release not only the patterns of physical tension, but the emotional tensions that ingrained those postures and leaves us afraid to show our whole selves.
This month we are challenging you to #letyourlightshine by joining us on a month of unwinding our conditioning, defying the things that drain us, unlocking endless vitality and a whole lot of #backbends!
Challenge Pose: camel (Or any other backbend that makes you feel VIBRANT!)