Open Your Hips & Face Your Demons. ~ Monica Jones

Via on Aug 28, 2012

“Let go or be dragged.” ~ Zen Proverb

Through my yoga and spiritual practice I am constantly learning the meaning of letting go. My daily life allows me to practice non-attachment whenever a car cuts me off on the freeway, when something doesn’t turn out the way I expected or when a yoga pose just doesn’t happen on a particular day.

Releasing gets more challenging when we lose a loved one and are not prepared to say the final goodbye.

It was three months ago that my grandmother passed away. She left her physical body to be part of a greater form of life.

I traveled to Peru to say goodbye to the woman that had taught me how to draw and color. The person that taught me that family comes first, the one who made the best tasting Peruvian dishes and desserts. My grandmother was always reminding me of the importance of being responsible. She was a constant source of laughter.

As a yoga student and teacher, I firmly believe that we store our tensions, emotions, judgments and thoughts in our bodies.

It is on our mats where we can face our demons.

Some people store this emotional clutter in their shoulders, others in their hamstrings. In my case, I store all my tension in my hips.

When I came back from Peru I could feel my hips were tighter than ever, and even though I knew returning to my practice was what I needed most, I postponed my encounter with my mat. I knew that the moment I stepped on my mat, I would remember that I had to let go and I just wasn’t prepared for it.

I needed more time to feel the grief. As crazy as it sounds I wanted to hold on to that pain. Holding on made me feel like my grandmother was still here. It was a way of cheating the reality and pretending that nothing had happened, that the next time I visit Peru she was going to be there.

After a few weeks I decided it was finally time to get back on my mat. The theme of class was hip openers—the universe telling me it was time.

I didn’t need to go far into the practice to face my grief, it was there on my first Vira II. During practice, as I kept opening my hips my emotions started to take over. As a yoga instructor, it occurred to me that I had to start practicing what I was preaching—I decided it was time to honor my emotions.

I took Balasana and let them flow. Breathing in Balasana, I remembered that I had never asked my grandma for a particular Peruvian dessert that I liked. It hit me, she was gone and there was nothing I could do about it—I had to let go.

At that moment, I cried and I finally felt free.

Sometimes we go through life pretending that everything is okay, that life must go on and there is no time to pause to connect with our emotions so we can show up to life fully committed.

For me, my mat takes me there, to those places deep inside myself where my true emotions are hidden. On occasions it can be scary to go there, feeling pain is uncomfortable but we need to feel it with every cell in our body—if we want to be free. Once we face the pain, once we feel our true emotions and let them flow, then we are ready. It is then that fear is replaced by freedom because we have met the truth of our emotional world—and that truth sets us free.

 

Monica Jones found yoga six years ago as a way to exercise, but quickly she realized that yoga was way more than that. Through yoga she found a connection with herself, a tool to re-discover her true essence and a way of living. Because of her passion for yoga and its benefits, she completed her 200 hrs in 2009 and has been teaching since then at several studios around Orange County. Monica teaches a vinyansa flow class focused on synchronizing breath and movement with detailed attention on alignment. Monica encourages her students to come to their mat just as they are, to leave their ego at the door, to connect with their breath and that is okay to let go and surrender. Monica is also a reiki karuna master and incorporates this healing energy in her classes. Learn more about Monica on www.zenergyoga.com

 

 

 

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Editor: Maja Despot

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7 Responses to “Open Your Hips & Face Your Demons. ~ Monica Jones”

  1. Writer Yogi says:

    I am so sorry about your grandmother. I am glad you were finally able to deal with the pain and that yoga was there for you. I had one of those moments at practice. I was at the studio then all of a sudden, my relation to the pose made me flash back to my present unhappiness in a situation at hand and I almost burst into tears! It was scary and unexpected and I pushed them away not wanting to be balling in the middle of class. I plan on developing a home practice (yay) so I think I will be more comfortable letting that happen at least in my own section of the world.

    Isn't it funny how yoga does that? How it can open us up in unexpected ways? I think I store some things in my hips too. Thanks for sharing your story! It's appreciated. Namaste

  2. Writer Yogi says:

    I am so sorry about your grandmother. I am glad you were finally able to deal with the pain and that yoga was there for you. I had one of those moments at practice. I was at the studio then all of a sudden, my relation to the pose made me flash back to my present unhappiness in a situation at hand and I almost burst into tears! It was scary and unexpected and I pushed them away not wanting to be balling in the middle of class. I plan on developing a home practice (yay) so I think I will be more comfortable letting that happen at least in my own section of the world.

  3. Alexandra says:

    I'm very sorry to hear about your loss as well. I recently lost my grandfather, and it has been very painful for me to watch another grandparent of mine slowly slipping away from my family. The Zen proverb hit me right away because lately I do feel like I'm letting myself be dragged through life by my negative emotions. It's so easy to get caught up in life's pains and frustrations, and the act of accepting and letting go can be extremely challenging when one has a lot on her mind. I was really glad I got a chance to read your article Monica. Yoga has always been healing for me, and although it may take some time, I think my practice (especially your healing advice and instruction) will really help me grow. Thanks so much for being such an amazing instructor!

  4. Anne Samit Anne says:

    My condolences on the passing of your grandmother. I am touched by your post and by how you experience emotions in the practice. I have been resistant to the idea that emotions are stored in the body. But, my practice is proving otherwise. Uncovering what is going on down deep can leave me with questions about how to get past some pain. After all, I must have pushed it down there for a reason. Just today I was wondering what I am supposed to do about this, and then I read the answer in your post: "… feeling pain is uncomfortable but we need to feel it with every cell in our body—if we want to be free. Once we face the pain, once we feel our true emotions and let them flow, then we are ready. It is then that fear is replaced by freedom because we have met the truth of our emotional world—and that truth sets us free."

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