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Beyond the Stretch, Yoga Opens Our Inner Eyes

In the quiet meditative moments with myself, I fall in love with myself. This sitting, breathing and stretching into a posture. It’s a stretch into my body, into my deepest being. I experience myself fully and feel fully alive, from a peaceful place within.

I practice a slower meditative yoga, the same way I have taught it, too. To find and resonate with the still place within myself. We all have it. I have found that slowing down is where I meet spirit, the universe, or God. Each soul has different experience of the oneness of all.

When I first started teaching yoga I was told that my teachings were too advanced because people wanted to just “do yoga” without slowing down, without diving deeper within, without unwinding the emotions, fears and dreams stored in body/mind.

“How is that yoga?” I thought.

Yoga is union. The unity of mind, body, spirit. How can you have union when you are working to just “do” it? Unwinding the body is more than simply doing a stretch. It’s about unwinding from the deepest place within yourself, and it takes being still to get there.

Yet … there is no one right way, I have realized. Each person will gravitate toward whatever path his or her heart calls for.

I have found that slow meditative yoga gets me in the space to slowly feel into my body in a profound way. Sometimes I am feeling into my pain, my fear or doubts. Sometimes I am simply feeling into my joy and love. It is possible to commune with my muscles, tissue, cells in such a way that I can slowly expand myself through all of it. I can move into the moment and feel every ounce of it. I think of it as the soul of the moment.

In my 10+ years of being a massage therapist, I have noticed how difficult it is for many to be still within themselves, because usually they are avoiding uncomfortable feelings within and aren’t aware of it.

Awareness is the key to unlocking an inner portal of tremendous bliss.

During my yoga practice, many times, I have experienced that simply being present with the more difficult emotions can be powerful tools for transforming them. There is something magical about being with the pain or fear from a place of acceptance. It allows the moment to unfold organically. With a quiet stillness, the more difficult emotions can actually be consciously stretched through and moved out. Or, in other words, they can be processed and let go of.

And on the other side of that is that bliss I just mentioned.

When we slow down, we see more, we feel more and we can actually BE with ourselves more.

We spend so much time living outside of ourselves. So much time up in our heads and not in our bodies.

Yoga can teach us to traverse our inner landscape and teach us to be with ourselves from the inside out.

This by using our bodies to synch into our vibrant beings. An inner place where we meet our true beauty and feel the shine of our soul. That place feels good.

Cheri Davis is a massage therapist, yogini and mind/body awareness educator here in Redding. She has a deep passion for the mind/body connection. Using her body as a medium for a creative expression, Cheri loves to shakti dance, practice yoga, and meditate. Like a butterfly to a flower, she tastes the earth with her feet, and is always playing outside in nature. Cheri is the owner of Advanced Massage Solutions, located in the historic McCormick mansion in downtown Redding. Check out her website at www.advancedmassagesolutions.weebly.com.

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