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finding healing and grace in your yoga practice
Photography by judith secanell

finding healing and grace in your yoga practice

by Lauren Larry lauren larry
Practice Yoga | Tips | | Personal Story

Yoga offers so many benefits, however, healing and grace are one of the most powerful and seemingly difficult to obtain. Healing takes time and Grace takes love and acceptance. All of these are connected and we can find them with yoga.

Yoga allows us to work through the discomfort of the moment. We accept the lack of balance certain poses and we breathe through the twinge of discomfort in other postures. We wobble and sometimes we fall, and that’s okay. We keep going. Yoga teaches us, to be comfortable with discomfort.

The greatest gift of yoga, is finding grace and healing with in a yoga practice. The path to healing can be long and uneasy. Learning to give yourself the grace to find the healing is also a challenge, but not impossible. The path to healing may have detours and we may even get discouraged. Quitting is an option and sometimes a temporary necessity.

When we don’t have the strength to carry on during our physical practice we have many options: Mountain Pose, Child’s Pose and even Savasana. By no means is this a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of having the strength to give our bodies much needed grace. The same counts for life, we must allow time to retreat and come back to our breath and who we are, rather than defining ourselves by what we “can’t” do or where we “aren’t” in our practice. 

As we learn to breathe on our mats, we have to carry the same breath off of our mats. It’s the idea of being present strictly in that moment. Imagine your lack of balance in tree pose or warrior III. You fall out of the posture and get back in to the posture. Perhaps you extend your arms or bring them to heart center. Most of the time we wait impatiently for the posture to end. When we accept the wobbling and the lack of balance and open our hearts despite the fear of wobbling or falling, our heart and mind align and we find the balance. When we open up and surrender, we find grace and in grace we find healing. 

I found healing and grace in yoga after a long battle with eating disorders and two miscarriages. Balance is always restored, grace can be given and healing slow comes. We have to give ourselves grace if we “fall” on our healing journey and we have to love ourselves enough to get back up and try again when we are ready. When we are hurting, we must allow ourselves to be aware of the pain and move through it. If a muscle is pulled, we slowly allow that muscle to heal before we work and stretch that muscle. It won’t be fully healed because we want it to, the body heals because we give it time and grace.

Again, that transfers off of the mat. We go through trauma of all sorts and we need time and space to heal. We can’t force healing, that comes with time and grace. We may even feel a twinge of pain in our muscles from time to time that remind us of an injury, it reminds us not that we’re weak, but that we have healed and we are forever changed. 

Life on and off the mat have many correlations, neither is perfect or always easy. However, I’ve learned with time and grace both will get better. You will find balance and healing in your heart and your tree pose will get strong and steady. Learning to be comfortable with the discomfort has been an integral part of my practice and life changing. From a pulled muscle to broken heart, I invite you to give yourself grace and time. You will heal and you will be better for it.