I’m grateful for my body’s rigidity and pain. I know it sounds strange, but it has been an excellent friend. Sure there are times when I wish it would just “go away” and leave me alone, but that’s not how pain works. It demands my attention. I imagine you have an “inner friend” a lot like mine who asks you to notice what is happening in your body and mind. If not today, then eventually.
Somewhere along the path, I learned not to let pain and rigidity rule my life. Rather, my friend and I have learned to work together. Pain has taken me on an inner journey that is infinitely more rewarding than any outer, worldly journey could be. As an athlete and yogi for over 30 years now, pain and injury have been part of my life. Of course, you don’t have to be an athlete (or a yogi) to experience rigidity and pain. Regardless of one’s occupation or pastime, stresses accumulate in the body and compound one another over time. It’s part of the human condition. To paraphrase Buddha’s first noble truth: If you live in a body, there will be pain. We can deny it, we can take pills to avoid it, and we can distract ourselves from it, but if Buddha is correct, life and pain—whether mental, emotional, or physical—go together.
Avita Yoga acknowledges this “painful” fact and does not try to avoid it.
We’ve all been there to some degree or another. Why me? Why this? At some point, the fight stops, and acceptance moves in. It does not mean we quit seeking resolution. It just means we stop fighting. Over the years, I’ve found that the more people identify with and focus on the pain, the harder it is to move past it. The fight holds us hostage to the pain, and the mind and body harden, making healing impossible. For the willing, however, there IS a way out!
Avita Yoga is a very effective pain management tool. It operates under a few simple guidelines that I will highlight in this series of four short articles. The first guideline is: Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. This approach is what makes Avita Yoga more than a physical practice. It fits nicely with Buddha’s Four Noble Truths. Suffering is an attitude, not a certainty. Pain may be part of life, but suffering can be transcended. The former is a fact, the latter a state of mind.
Pain ranges from mild to debilitating, but one’s attitude toward it makes all the difference.
If we can accept that pain is part of life, then we are not enslaved to it. The irony is that when they adopt this approach, many people (for the first time in their lives) begin to experience more mobility and less pain! Steeped in this mindset, AvitaYoga uses a systematic approach that addresses the whole body and its inner systems. It seeks out and finds the pain (most often in and around the joints) and gives them the attention they want and need. This yoga goes past the symptoms o bring us closer to the heart of the problem. It works because it stimulates the body’s innate healing physiology–something the medical world tends to overlook.