As I sit by the fireplace amid the lush greenery of the Catskill region, thinking about what to write for this breast cancer blog, I am reminded of my yogic study. In yoga we don’t try to think what we don’t want. This is a blog for any recovery.
Look at more than the physical body in the healing process – If I only focus on the illness, my recovery will be limited. For recovery we need to look at more than just the physical body. Recovery can only take place when we are ready to contemplate the complexities of our being. We need to heal our physical body, but that includes our emotional, mental and spiritual being. Doctors and treatments don’t cure us; They make our healing process easier. They are very necessary. They give us the strength and physical ability to enable the healing that comes from us.
Doctors in the healing process – Working in hospitals as a student I couldn’t understand when doctors would say; “I can’t do anything for this patient, she doesn’t have the will to live.” We as patients have to become partners of the doctors in the healing process. Our body, when balanced, has the power to heal according to yoga. That is why yogis do exercises and breathing work so that the body can balance itself.
When the body is sick, it is out of whack. With the wonderful work of science, doctors now have the ability to attack most diseases and give us the strength to begin the healing process. These blogs are intended to support us in this healing process.
The spiritual body is also needed in the healing process – The word yoga means “to connect our individual self with the universal self”. We believe that at some point we will all join our Creator. To do this, we need to purify this physical, mental and emotional body. Our soul is universal, we are universal, but we have a human experience. It is everyone’s fate to return to the source. It doesn’t matter what you call the source, God, Allah, Krishna, there is only ONE, but we all go different ways. When we are on the way to our goals, we feel more balanced.
All beings on this planet are dependent on life force. We call this life force praana, others call it chi or adamantine particles. Praana is the essence of life. It is the essence of creation that comes from the heart core of our Supreme Creator. Therefore, our spiritual body is also needed for the healing process.
Understand Praana (life force) in the healing process – How much praana we can absorb depends on our physical, mental and emotional receptacles? I like to compare it to the electricity in our homes. It’s always there to give us 120 volts. The refrigerator takes all the tension; The transistor radio can only draw 12 volts. Similarly, our body uses praana according to the state of our being. The aim is to be able to absorb more and more praana. More life force in the physical body affects the mental and emotional body. Likewise, the emotional body affects the physical. When we are happy or in love, we have plenty of energy. When we are sad and depressed, our energy levels are low. When our mind creates tension, the flow of praana within the physical vessel becomes obstructed. Therefore, we must constantly try to increase the praana within us through every available method, either physically, mentally, or emotionally.
Praana is a life force that supports all healing processes. The easiest way to increase praana is through the breath. Yoga states that by practicing praanayaam or breathing exercises regularly, we can maintain a higher standard of health, strength, and vitality. In order for healing to take place, we need to increase our praana intake.
How to start the healing process – For this blog post, I want YOU to start taking a deep breath. Let the exhale last as long as the inhale, briefly pausing your breath between the two. We call this rhythmic breathing. This can be done at any time of the day and as often as possible. Practice daily and slowly the body gets used to taking in more oxygen.
When life becomes overwhelming and tense, take a deep breath and let the exhale be twice as long as the inhale. The body will calm down immediately. Put this tool in your back pocket and pull it out when needed. Life gives us a lot of tension.
In the next blog we will discuss what praana is.
With love and respect
Mokshapriya is consecrated as Swami Ma Mokshapriya Shakti Saraswati and has been teaching yoga, meditation and philosophy for over 40 years. She currently teaches and advises in Queens, New York at the Yogashakti Yoga Center. She is a co-founder of the Yoga Teachers Training Institute and has trained over 250 yoga teachers in Long Island and New York. Mokshapriya has a PhD in training researching and writing a “Comprehensive Versatile Yoga Program: A Strategy for Self-Improvement” for college. She is very direct but approachable. You can contact her at email@example.com or www.teachyoga.org.