First, let’s explore what it means to heal. Healing comes in all forms, shapes, and sizes. Yet, it leads to the same result, that is, feeling whole and complete. Today, we are going to investigate healing from a totally different perspective. I hope you join me for the ride!
Years ago, I decided to name my business Healing Elements, not truly recognizing the accuracy of that name. But what really is a Healing Element? To understand the answer to that question, we first need to investigate what it means to heal.
What it means to heal.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “heal” is defined as “to become sound or whole.” When I researched the definition, this blog took on a whole new energy. I use the word “whole” quite deliberately here because the essence of Yoga is also being whole. Therefore, we can deduce that to heal and to practice yoga are the same.
Keep reading even if “yoga” doesn’t float your boat. This is intended to give you a whole new perspective on healing.
Do Doctors Really Heal?
Did you know that a doctor does not heal you; your body heals itself? A doctor sets up conditions in such a way as to optimize your healing potential, but it is not the doctor that actually heals you. Only you can do that!
The Healing Elements are whole-istic, or holistic, tools and techniques that I have learned throughout my life and career to optimize one’s own healing potential.
Ultimately, these tools and techniques are all based on yoga and thus have the purpose of revealing wholeness instead of dis-ease. I offer these tools from the foundation of a yoga therapy approach.
Heather, you may ask, I thought yoga was about stretching and strengthening the body and the mind, so where does therapy come in?
Therapy and Healing
Therapy is a treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder, according to the dictionary. You see, when you recognize yourself as whole, you are not internally pushed around by the world’s happenings, your own thoughts and emotions, or other people’s beliefs or opinions. This “wholeness” allows you to remain grounded in yourself. Or, as the definition of “heal,” or the essence of yoga says, to be “sound or whole.”
There are many forms of therapy that incorporate the mind and body, just as there are many forms of yoga, much more than what has been popularized as postures and breath techniques.
Because both yoga and healing revolve around being whole, therapeutic techniques must also have the same purpose. Thus, yoga therapy uses the techniques of yoga to facilitate healing.
The practice of yoga emerged and was eventually codified because of the investigation of ancient scientists living in southeastern Asia thousands of years ago. This practice has numerous tools and techniques, what I call “Healing Elements,” to aid the practitioner in allowing their body to heal itself so they can rest in their wholeness.
The techniques of yoga are NOT limited to postures!
They include mindfulness techniques, breath, and somatic techniques, techniques intended to awaken love and devotion, practices to focus the mind and induce contemplation, and activities anchored in service to others.
Let me say that again for those of you who believe you cannot practice yoga or do not want to practice yoga because Western culture has given the impression that yoga means to tie your body up in a strange position.
Yoga is not limited to postures. The word “Asana,” which is typically considered a “yoga pose,” is defined as “a steady position” in one of the primary yogic scriptures.
Believing that “a steady position” is a position of the body is one of the most misunderstood interpretations. It is really a whole-istic position of perspective. When you have a perspective of being whole, you are practicing asana and yoga. The body then naturally relaxes in whatever position it is, which means any body can practice yoga. Otherwise, you are just tying your body into knots to strengthen it, make it more flexible, or even boost your ego.
By the way, we have this body to use as a means to engage with the world. Why not help it to be healthy through fitness? The body affects the mind and emotions and vice versa. Engage one in a healthy way and you support the other.
So, I am not saying that there isn’t room for a Western approach to yoga, which is strengthening the body and mind. But if this article offers you anything, I hope it expands your understanding of the purpose of yoga and how it can be used therapeutically to arrive at a position of recognizing yourself as whole instead of incomplete.
The essence of yoga is this: you are already whole, complete, and perfect.
It is just a matter of recognizing that. This recognition comes from shifting away from a perspective of a mind focusing on its past experiences to an open present-moment mind that can view life from a different perspective.
How? You may ask. By practicing different tools, techniques, and guiding principles to help you relax deeply, which is how the mind becomes calm and steady so the truth of who/what you are can be revealed to you.
We call this practicing yoga because once you recognize yourself as whole, you need to reinforce that recognition moment by moment through the practice of yoga. You have had a lifetime of practicing a perspective on being incomplete and separate. It may take some additional reinforcement to steadily hold a position of wholeness.
The Healing Elements are tools and techniques based on a therapeutic approach to yoga. This means they focus on healing, or “becoming whole or sound,” as the dictionary defines for us.
All pain, discomfort, or suffering comes from a deeply rooted belief that I am not whole at this moment. Just consider that. Anytime you suffer, whether it is physical, mental, or emotional suffering, it is because there is a felt sense that “I am not whole.”
Pain in the body or uncomfortable emotions are mentally interpreted as “something is wrong with me.” You have spent a lifetime reinforcing that belief. Now, yes, right now, it is time to embrace a different belief:
I am whole,
I am perfect,
I am free!
Then, spend the rest of your days reinforcing this new belief with every breath you take, every action you make, and every moment of love you offer. That is the way to live a life of healing anchored in joy, peace, and fulfillment!
The end and beginning of your journey are right now. Let your life reflect the completeness you feel right now when you use any Healing Elements to heal and recognize your wholeness!
In Loving Service
Heather Indu Arena
Thank you for reading! You are what inspires me to write. Please like this post and members, log in, and leave a comment to offer your voice and support my mission of getting inspirational and educational materials out to the world. I hope my words uplift your spirit while offering you tools and techniques to help you soar. I incorporate links to my many transformational programs and services so you know you have support in applying what you read to your own life.
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