Attached to your Aches and Pains?

Erin Sweeney

Erin asks, “Are you attached to pain?”

“Attachment” is a yoga concept you may have heard about already.  It happens when we make objects, people, or outcomes so important that they actually cause us needless stress.   There are many forms of attachment.  Perhaps you hoard items, your house becoming full to the brim with stuff. Perhaps you worry about the safety of your children or grandchildren, losing sleep and making yourself ill.  Perhaps you have a breakdown when a big project fails at work. There are many ways we can suffer as a result of attachment.

This is why we encourage you to examine your emotions and their causes in yoga class.  Journaling is one way to explore your emotions.  Other ways include meditation, therapy and (my personal favorite) talking to yourself in the car.  I will say this:  Most people have needless stress as a result of attachment.  Which is to say it’s nothing unusual and something yoga can help you learn to address.

Today I wanted to write about attachment to aches and pains.  This is very common and we see it in yoga all the time.  A student can become overly connected to their injury and the pain associated with it.  I decided to write this little motivating piece regarding this small part of attachment.

We all get injured.  Everyone.  I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t had an injury.  Dark as this may seem to say, it is fun to discuss them.  I like to talk about mine. The time I got 8 stitches on my knee after falling off my bike into the road on the way to Downes Elementary school or the time my finger was closed in a van door or the broken big toe I got skateboarding in high heels (don’t ask).

If you’ve ever played with a metal slinky after it’s gotten a kink you know that it’s never right after that.  It will always have the kink and it really doesn’t go down the stairs correctly ever again. No matter how hard you try to smooth the metal out again, it’s time to buy a new slinky.  Well, guess what, your body is WAY more cool than a slinky.  You have all kinds of imprints from injuries and movements from your entire life, yes, but what’s so neat about you is that, unlike your slinky, your cells are alive.  They can heal themselves.  That is about the most awesome thing I’ve ever learned about.  I love it.

Hermione says, “Use the magic of healing to let go of injuries!”

The thing is, if you are attached to the kink you received it will slow your healing. Often I think what really happens to folks who don’t heal from injury well is that there was an underlying pattern of movement that weakened the injured area to start with. For example, if you slouch forward regularly, your neck injury from a car accident will likely heal very slowly if at all.  Your posture is not allowing healing.  Another way we can attach to injury is psychological. Sometimes it because so fun to tell the story about the injury that we just can’t let it go. Try this, think of how great the story would be if it had a happy ending? Personally I always prefer a happy ending myself.  So let’s go for the happy ending together; come to yoga, engage in self study, and learn how to promote your own healing.  Your body is magical and you can do it!

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