Make sure to read all the way to the postscript 🙂
Do you think yoga—and other Eastern modalities—is a bunch of woo-woo hooey wrapped in pretty packaging? You’re not alone! I’ve loved yoga from the moment it found me, it must be the Indian in me, but I wasn’t always on board with things like the chakras, Reiki, the body’s energetics, etc. I was kind of a black and white person before starting blue door; now I’m more of a grey person. I have FELT the energetics and subtle body experience, and, science and Western medicine are finally jumping on board.
Most, if not all, of you know I’m in the middle of taking a 300 hour teacher training with Jules Mitchell. It is very science based; it’s all about biomechanics, pain science, materials science, and so much more. We’re learning how to read research papers, looking at formulas, stress/strain curves, learning the mechanics of tissues, and my brain is breaking a little—ok a lot. We’re learning to differentiate between studies that used the scientific method and have ended up with good data vs those that are opinion and should be taken with a huge chunk of salt. Have you ever read a scientific study? If not, you’re not missing much, but, if you want to substantiate a claim, you have to have the data to back it up.
Now, back to why yoga isn’t a bunch of hooey. There is finally data backing up what yoga and Eastern medicine have been claiming for centuries. Here are a few:
- there is a direct link between the gut and the brain through the vagal nerve that runs through the bundle of nerves in front of your spine called the “soft spine.” So, when you say, “I know it in my gut,” you really do.
- if you tried to pull apart the bundle of nerves, veins, tendons, ligaments, arteries, etc., you wouldn’t be able to. Everything is so intertwined and interdependent on each other, you will never be able to replicate how these work as a unit. Our insides look like a bunch of scribbles where you cannot distinguish the beginning nor the end.
- did you know you have a pelvic diaphragm? So, when I ask you to breathe into your pelvic floor, you’re really doing it. The pelvic diaphragm works with the diaphragm most of us know about. When a muscle contracts (concentric motion), it’s only able to do it because a corresponding muscle is expanding (eccentric motion). So, when you breathe in and the diaphragm is moving concentrically, the pelvic diaphragm is moving eccentrically. They can only operate as a pair. You wouldn’t be able to breathe without both of them doing their jobs.
- Western medicine has just recently recognized what a huge role the fascia plays in the balance of our bodies. The fascia is a gossamer, web-like tissue that is under the skin. Here is what it does, “A fascia is a structure of connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other.” (https://www.physio-pedia.com/Fascia) Fascia plays a HUGE role in our mobility and well-being: “Fascia is connective tissue. It connects every part of the body with every other part, wrapping around muscles and holding organs in place. Addressing issues in the fascia can reduce pain, increase range of motion, and help nourish muscles and nerves.” (https://haleintegrative.com/what-is-fascia/)
- Chakras are energy centers (or wheels) and play a role in how balanced we are. Western medicine hasn’t quite figured out how to classify chakras, but they are finding out that they’re interconnected in our well-being. They just haven’t pinpointed a scientific way of explaining them. I’m sure we’re not far from that day.
These are just some examples. Every day, we’re learning more and more about how truly miraculous the body is, and how you cannot neglect one part and expect the others to function as a whole. The mind/body/spirit connection that we talk about in yoga is REAL. We are completely interconnected, and for those of us who still view things as black or white, I’m glad that we are able to back up our woo-woo claims with science 🙂
PS I had my family over for our October and November birthdays (we have A LOT of bdays in a 2 week span!), and my sister and I were talking about our relationship with our father. I had mentioned, in an earlier letter, about my Akashic Record Reading; the subject matter was my dad and I. For years, I have been trying to reconcile the strained relationship I have with him—I am not ok with our interactions as they are. He’s getting older and I’m just done walking the same, unending path (in yoga philosophy, this is called a samskara). My father and I haven’t been able to have a deep, cleansing conversation; he’s just not there and I don’t have the right words to express how important it is to me. Our conversations always end up in more misunderstandings and more pain/anger. Thus, the Akashic Record Reading with blue door’s Reiki Master, April Beebe.
During our reading, I realized that I was stuck in my throat chakra when interacting with my dad—duh! April had me open my crown chakra and said visualize light or something coming in through that chakra coating the throat. My visualization was molten gold (who knows where that came from because usually I visualize white light or golden light, but molten gold just felt right). You guys, ever since I had this reading, something shifted. I don’t know why, I don’t know how, I’m just so happy it happened. When I see my dad, I don’t feel anger, hurt, tightness. I, now, just feel light and happy to be with him. I’m able to move past everything and just be here, in the present. Should this have happened? Nope. Can I explain it in any way that doesn’t make me sound like I’ve started speaking in tongues? Nope. But, I FEEL better and I feel unconditional love and joy when I see my dad. And, that’s all I care about. <3