Rocketman & Dharma
“You’ve got to kill the person you were born to be, in order to be the person you want to be.” -A quote from the Rocketman movie.
Family, friends and the culture you live in have big plans for you; there are expectations, hopes and family traditions that all have the potential to form your personality and world view. ‘Oh you take after your…’ [insert relative here with traits your family would like to cultivate in you] -for example.
We start to fulfil the role set out for us and for the most part that can be really nice, we’re born alone but received by a community that has our best interests at heart, so they begin to provide steer, some anchors for our personality, likes and dislikes.
This can become limiting when we hold ourselves back from what’s expected. In the book Eternal Dharma it’s explained that; ‘The mind is an element, people often think the mind is part of who they are, and some even believe they are their mind or intelligence. They think they are thoughts and feelings, and because of this, they go through much pain.’
Dharma for me has been about finding out who I am, outside of these conditions, expectations and pressures, unpicking what I’ve been told about myself and what I believe about myself in order to get to the truth. And in doing so, I feel I’m living in alignment and thriving!
Why is that? Well back to Eternal Dharma ‘when action is done with enough dharmic aligned emotion, it can move mountains and is unstoppable. Take singing for example. Someone can sing all the notes, but if they don’t put the correct emotion into it, the song will not move you.’
In her book Stalking Wild Psoas Liz Koch says ‘when our will is striving for perfection, achievement, and excellence, as well as when there is an instinctive need to defend, protect and hide, the psoas muscle is recruited.’
The psoas muscle is a deep core muscle, starts at the lumbar spine, snakes over the front of the pelvis and attaches around the hip. It links the upper body with the lower body and plays a crucial role in keeping is upright. You might have heard the psoas called an ‘emotional muscle’ which rather does it a disservice (although us Yoga teachers have to use some creative licence, rather than hold a class to ransom while we deliver a lecture on the origin and attachment point of a muscle and how the tissues respond to stress).
The psoas holds so much feeling and emotion… and often the emotions that we don’t feel safe to express, whether that’s because of our relationships or social conditioning. Consciously and subconsciously we contract the psoas, (our body curls in a little) to protect ourselves. It’s a natural and very useful response to the stresses and challenges we face.
I teach students to hear the messages of the psoas, and gently hydrate this tired and dry muscle. Performance Yoga postures will yank and aggravate this sensitive muscle, whereas embodied and sensitive practices will help students understand this part of their body, and how it impacts on their overall health and wellbeing.
Before you join me in a class or for a weekend retreat, start to get to know your psoas in Constructive Rest Position (pictured).
When we live in alignment, with body awareness ‘gone is a fix me impulse and in it’s place sprouts the mystery and wonder of life.'
If you haven't already heard it; listen to the 'Can I Be Me' Yoga Pose Podcast Epsiode it links really well with this article.
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