I am very fortunate to be able to stop everything.
So, I did. And I practiced finding quiet. Listening to the underneath, the thoughts and emotions that are so easy to set aside in daily life, to quash, or to ignore. When ignored, emotions can become stuck, can sour. I was feeling so out of sorts, grumpy, and had not painted since January, but for a few sketches. It was like a little girl inside me was stamping her foot: "STOP" she said. And eventually I listened.
Movement is one of the ways to work with emotion, not to deepen and exaggerate it, or to dwell in the stories that emerge, but simply to see it, and experience it in the body.
In yoga, we often talk about meeting ourselves on the mat as we are, with acceptance for our bodies as they are. Sometimes, it feels like we say that, but then we push to meet some goal, to change ourselves. Yet, if we really do see and accept ourselves as we are, then change becomes a possibility. It entirely depends on us to actually do the first step: really to accept and witness ourselves as we are. Otherwise, our actions are in conflict with our needs.
Its like we've been driving down a road, but we got lost. How do you go anywhere from a place of being lost? You can try, but where will you wind up? Yet, given a map, if you know your location, then step by step you can move towards your intention. Sometimes, we pretend we aren't lost, or we know we are lost, and keep going anyway. That's part of the process too.
Both Restorative Yoga and Feldenkrais are opportunities to create an inner map to our relationship with stillness, with our bodies, with pain, with comfort. They are ways to have a deep conversation rooted in compassion and honesty. For me, these can be ways to meditate with and in the body in a way that honors my whole self, that teaches me to meet myself with neutrality and create ease.
This is why I practice, this is why I teach.
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Heather Danso, now Heather Emanuel, is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Method® Practitioner, Restorative Yoga teacher, LMT, and Awareness Through Movement® facilitator.
As an artist, she playfully explores work in Acrylic, printing, and multimedia, creating portraits and abstracts that explore expression, playfulness, identity, and the possible. Her CV is here.