A student came to one of our recent Yoga and Ayurveda teacher trainings wearing a corset. It was meant to prevent back pain from a slipped disc, an injury that had occurred (and healed) many years before. She had become so accustomed to the idea that she would be in pain without this support that she never questioned whether or not this was actually true.
This corset significantly affected her ability to breathe and move. In fact, in all her years as a Yoga student, she had never done an inversion because of it. She was quite afraid of these poses, but in her four weeks of training, she grew stronger in her body and her mind. With courage, she took off the corset and stepped away from the fear of pain. To her surprise, her back didn’t need the extra support. She did an inversion for the first time during that training, and gained a new perspective on her body and her life.
Natural pain relief is in the mind
This story illustrates how powerful the mind is in creating the experience of pain. In fact, pain only exists when the mind allows it to. But it’s possible to overcome these limitations by addressing unresolved emotions, fear, trauma, or disconnection from your true self.
Whether it is dull, aching or sharp, pain offers a reminder that it is time to face what you have not yet faced. These unresolved memories are what we refer to in Yoga as samskara. Samskara are stored in your body, creating a disruption of prana flow (see part 1 in our series on Ayurvedic pain relief: The role of prana), which results in physical and mental weakness. The places where samskara are stored is where pain arises.
The sensation of pain is a reminder of your true purpose in life -- to grow as a spirit by fully experiencing all parts of your life, good and bad. When you take on another person’s truth as your own, compromise your path or live against your nature, it will have an effect on some part of your life.
Samaskara can be obvious and easy to work through, or sometimes it can be challenging. If your life has been filtered through unresolved memories for a long time, you may not be aware of their existence except on the subtle, energetic realms where prana exists. Eventually the accumulation will catch up to you, whether through the physical sensation of pain or a dull numbness to life that leaves you wanting something else.
A meditation to relieve pain
Before you reach for painkillers or choose to wear a corset for your whole life, try first to go inside and look at the emotional or mental root of the pain. Yoga asana, meditation and journaling are powerful tools to release the hold that samskara has on your life. When practiced in a sattvic manner, meaning one that creates more balance and harmony, these tools provide a place of stillness and awareness where you can listen to your emotions and observe your body’s response to them.
One of the tools that inspired our Yoga student to remove her corset is our Intuitive Energy Practice. She learned three simple tools to use during meditation that allow her to release samskara and open up to who she really is. You can find a free download of the basic tools here, as well as several guided meditations that go deeper in the practice. The technique is simple and made up of three components:
When the pain is coming from a samskara that has many layers in your body, it can take some time to get to the root. Use these tools during meditation to tune in to the emotions you are experiencing. Allow what you are feeling to flow through you and not stick. It can come and go easily when you let it. Remember that your emotions are not who you are, they are merely a movement of energy. Experience your emotions, but don’t let them define your experience. Be an observer and notice what comes up and allow it to release.
Ayurvedic treatments offer profound pain relief by addressing the dosha imbalance behind it. Our Ayurvedic treatment training offers you a chance to learn these ancient techniques through hands-on education. As you give and receive treatments in this training, you’ll see firsthand the balancing and calming effects they have on mind, body and spirit. Learn more and apply today.