I unrolled my mat this morning, thick with the weight of sick kids, emotional processing and my own body fighting something. I let my mat touch the warm sunlight and pressed the soles of my feet into the soft folds of yoga mat and carpet. My fingertips pressed into the warmth, pressing my shoulders back. My chest expanded and I nudged my heart forward. Open here, I whispered. This is the safe place. But my throat was sore and tight. Breathing was difficult and frustrating, so I left my mat and grabbed bottles of oils. Eucalyptus, peppermint, melaleuca and lemon... and without thinking I picked up Myrrh. One drop of each spread all over my throat and chest and then I'm back to my mat.
The more I move the more my body unwinds. Almost instantly I feel my throat relax, my lungs expand and my body is fully immersed in ujjayi pranayama. The oil is tingling and soothing. My breath is stirring up all of the stagnant pools of discontent that have settled in my heart. I'm breathing in a way I don't know I've ever breathed before. Depth and intention are broadening inside of me.
I come to King Pigeon, strap wrapped around the top of my foot. I glance behind me and notice my reflection in the mirror. I'm even tighter than I feel. My back does not budge. It is a wall, built with bricks and sadness. It does not bend. There is no physical reason. There is no major injury. Just years, and minutes, and fighting, and heartbreak built up like sludge - so dense it just won't budge. I breathe into my lower back, asking it to relinquish just a little. Nothing. So I lean forward and consider what has settled in my back - what keeps me from release?
The more I move, the more I think about the resistant places in my body. I fold forward. The weight of my body hinges over my toes and my lower back still holds its ground. Unmoving. Unshakable.
I start to whisper to Them, to The Divine. I ask Them to heal me. I ask Them to uncover and uproot and revive. I ask Them to place hands over the weight I carry in my back and wipe it all away. And I cry because unknown grief is stirring. I bring my body low for a moment, squatting with my hands on the ground. Heal me.
Then I'm back to my mat, breathing, moving, and soaking in the awareness that They are doing something in me. My heart is engaging with my body and my lungs. I'm unwinding, unwrapping and pulling apart the tension of the deeper things. It isn't just my back, or my body. It's never just one aspect of who we are. Its everything. We carry our hurt, our grief, our fear, and our tension in our bodies. Sometimes those emotional burdens settle into our hips, our shoulders, our chests, our feet, our bellies, and our backs. We hold on, thinking we are protecting ourselves. But no... we're just building walls in our bodies.
When my practice is over I'm suddenly aware of the way Myrrh smells. It fills the room, but I hadn't noticed it before. Now I'm curious - what does Myrrh DO? I grabbed it on instinct, but I don't know what its properties are. It's an oil I've used very little. So I start searching for the emotional components of Myrrh. I read that it helps to release fears and difficult or painful experiences. Some say it affects the heart chakra to help relieve stress and emotional energy.
This is one of those moments, those defining moments in my journey with The Divine. They were reaching for me before I reached for Them - They used Myrrh to invite me in and to remind me of what is safe. Creation is always speaking Their name.
I realize that something new happened on my mat today. I didn't find new movement in a glory pose. I didn't do something spectacular and I wasn't even moved by music or a posture. One drop from a tiny bottle of an essential oil drew my attention to my unhealed parts. The rest of my day has been filled with deep breathing. I know that healing is already happening in my heart. My back will release little by little. I'll find new space in old wounds. Love is faithful and tender - only revealing stagnant places to me when I'm ready to breathe into them again.
*Start your oil journey with me, friends. I have more to share at yogaandoilslifestyle.com.