This week we had a chat about Chakras – I don’t believe everything about it (yet), but I do believe in the overall sense that if your heart or soul is not balanced, your body can fall ill too. I think that western medicine actually also sort of believe in it, but because it can’t be scientifically proven, they call it “stress”. It was also uncanny to learn that if the heart chakra is unbalanced, you get immune diseases.
I was diagnosed with lupus at 17 and survived for years on heavy medication daily. I was told by doctors to stay away from stressful things, be happy and try not to get worked up. Interestingly, lupus is one of those illnesses that no one can truly pinpoint the cause. So perhaps it’s something that happens when your heart or soul is unbalanced.
Coincidentally, 3 years ago I left a job that I hated and I have been in remission for about 3 years. The doctors might say that it’s because I don’t have a stressful job anymore – but I never found my job stressful and the actual work is quite interesting. I just didn’t like the environment – it was overly competitive and filled with alpha males and people with intense negative energies; there wasn’t anyone whom I could trust and had to look behind my back all the time. I felt alone and I didn’t look forward to going to work. I was holding a lot of anger and my soul was broken and sad about having to spend time around people like that.
I have not had to take any steroids for 3 years and this year my doctors have been working towards waning me off all medication. I no longer have a malar rash since I became more consistent with my practice. I used to have an explosive temper too, but that has disappeared as well (either from getting older, constant reminder by the husband that the real world is not filled with pink cotton candy or because I am no longer angry with the world). They sound like small steps, but for someone who have lived more than 10 years with a chronic illness, this is a huge battle won.
But I was also thinking – I’ve been really lucky, and not everyone could just walk away from something that’s hurting their heart or soul, especially if it’s a job and they have families to feed. I remembered going for yoga classes in my moments of deep sadness or anger, when I was barely hanging on, (which was when I started learning yoga), seeking for a place to get away from it all and I did get some rare moments of peace (if only to be destroyed the next day). But maybe if I have had a more regular practice, or a teacher who was more in touch with ways to heal through the mat, then I could have held onto those moments of peace for much longer, learn to deal with all that anger and sadness, and did not have to leave the work.
Perhaps one day I could bring this peace of mind to others through practice, for people who don’t have the same options as I did. I do admit that I joined the YTT not really with a strong intention to teach, but more to deepen my own practice. However, I guess as time goes on and the more I learn about Yoga and its teachings beyond the asanas, I’ve realised that besides building a strong physical body, I could also help to heal them beyond the mat.
Till next time and wishing peace for everyone’s soul as well.