Set Yourself Free!: Prana Invites Yoga Students to Bring
Their Practice to a Deeper Level
Simply noticing sensation within the body is one of the eight
limbs of yoga - Pratyahara. Many yoga students may have experienced this in
savasana , the corpse pose, as they practice the “art of dying”…moving
deeply into body and breath awareness, while staying relatively alert. You may
notice sensations such as heat, pulsing, “energy “ moving. One may also
suddenly have the urge to laugh or cry uncontrollably. This is when the yoga
is really doing what it was designed to do…to heal.
Allowing the yoga to integrate and move deeply into your body, provides a
healing experience. If we are too concerned with “performing” the perfect
pose or moving onto the next one your body holds a level of tension and you
are not experiencing the deepest healing possible. Yes, you will always
receive some benefits from your practice. The yoga finds it’s way in. When
you drop completely into the moment, for even just a split second of a moment,
the yoga begins to heal the body. However, if you have not had a complete yoga
experience, you may leave a yoga class feeling irritable, emotional or VERY
high. These are all common responses to yoga that has not been grounded in the
The practice of pratyahara allows the yoga student to fully integrate the yoga
during and after each posture. In my experience, this can only happen by
bringing your awareness and full attention into a posture. Hold a posture at
your edge, the place where you feel sensation that can be released with
breath, but not continuous pain that may lead to injury. While in a yoga pose,
send all your breath and awareness to the parts of your body that are
experiencing tension in the stretch and allow your breath and full attention
to release that tension. This can require holding a posture for 8 - 10
breaths…maybe longer. When physical or emotional tension rises while holding
a pose, breath into that tension, notice it, send love to it, so it feels safe
to release, no matter what may arise.
I suggest taking at least three breaths with your fullest attention to the
tension and then, if needed, gently release from the posture. If the tension
turns into real pain. This is a warning sign that your body is sending you to
take care and gently move out of the posture and into a posture that is
comfortable and can allow stillness. Many find child’s pose or savasana to
be good resting poses. Bring your awareness and attention completely into your
body and breath during stillness is just as important as doing so during the
posture. Moving into a resting pose will allow the yoga to fully integrate.
Pausing for several breaths after each pose and noticing is the practice of
Feeling safe to have an energetic or emotional release. Do you feel safe to
cry, growl or laugh freely in the studio where you study? This is very
important in order to experience the full benefits of the yoga you are doing.
Clearing energetic or emotional blocks or tensions in the body leads to
healing chronic pain, illness, stress, depression and more. If you do not feel
safe to have a full experience while practicing yoga, for whatever reason, you
may consider finding a safer place to do your healing. Find a studio that
encourages vocal releases OR you can have these experiences in a private
Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy session.
Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy (PRYT) is a way to passively receive yoga body
work (very supported stretches) in a private setting. PRYT therapists are
trained to guide their client through a series of postures that are physically
appropriate and that fit the clients intention for their session.
Verbalization, sounds, tears and laughter are welcome. PRYT therapists are
trained to hold the space for anything that arises from the experience you
have within your body.
The role of the therapist is to create a safe space for emotional and physical
release and reflect back to the client what they hear. This technique is
modeled after Rogerian client centered therapy. The PRYT therapist has no
agenda and simply guides the client to create their intention at the beginning
of the session, and at the end helps the client integrate what has surfaced.
This integration step allows the client to feel complete with their healing
process in the moment.
Healing is a step by step process and PRYT moves the client one step at a
time, as the body, mind and spirit are ready to go deeper and release. PRYT
benefits include, trauma release, deep relaxation and personal transformation.
Clients often leave a session feeling lighter and further along on their
healing journey to optimal health. One of Prana’s clients shared that after
just two sessions, “I feel like a new person. I have connected to a new part
Prana shares yoga and yoga therapy at Shelburne Falls Yoga and throughout the
greater Northampton/Greenfield, MA area. For more information visit her
website at www.pranaheals.com