Recent feedback from my yoga classes has given me real food for thought. The first friend said this: "Beforehand I was wary about doing yoga" and afterwards "I couldn't believe my body could do what it did!". Said friend admitted that she had reservations about doing yoga for spiritual reasons but she stepped out in curiosity, courage and trust to explore this exercise form. Not only did she show mental flexibility, but simultaneously she discovered a new physical flexibility as a result. Yesterday, a second friend said she loves the more challenging yoga poses as they "open up deep places within her" and she has often spoken of the mental-emotional release she experiences through stretching her body more deeply.
These comments confirm my own intuitive experience of my body along with my positive suspicions about yoga. Namely that our bodies are very connected to our mind-heart-soul and vice versa.* If we think of how the ageing process leads our bodies to seize up and lose their flexibility and how many older aged people can become 'fixed in their ways' we find evidence of this link. So might an inflexible body be connected to an inflexible mind and might a flexible body might also be connected to a flexible mind? This correlation means that flexing our minds might lead to a more flexible body AND conversely stretching our body in new ways might lead to new mental, emotional and spiritual awareness or understanding.
Perhaps this pandemic has brought your inner struggles closer than you'd like as you go round the same mental loops of fear or anxiety? Maybe you've gone down the self-help path or sought some therapy (both of which I endorse) seeking to change your thoughts and emotions. However, have you considered how stretching your body beyond its familiar everyday postures might reciprocate in your mental realm? So that your thoughts and feelings get 'out of the rut'? I encourage you to consider affecting (stretching) your body in order to help open up new and beautiful ways of thinking and feeling.
*(Whilst this is a generalisation and one can ask 'What about the disabled body?', I have to say that yes there is a correlation as I've observed in my own husbands disability - but that's another blog post!)