Another aspect of the challenge I’ve issued this month is physical. As the temple that houses the soul, the body’s condition is so important to the journey. A body out of balance or struggling reflects emotional and spiritual aspects out of balance as well.
The role of the body in achieving inner peace and/or higher consciousness is often ignored or put on the back burner. While many seekers seem to put a lot of emphasis on diet and nutrition, they often pay no attention to the role of stuck patterns in muscles. These patterns influence a spiritual journey in two main respects.
1. When muscles are held in twisted, knotted, intertwined patterns, there are usually unacknowledged issues buried in the knots and twists. Unacknowledged/unconscious beliefs are part of such repressed memories and those beliefs are usually negative and controlling much of your life.
2. Prana, or vital force energy, flows through channels called nadis which correspond roughly to the circulatory system. Tight, twisted muscles block the flow of energy as well as restricting blood flow. It is very difficult to maintain inner peace when the body is tense, blocked and working overtime to move energy and blood.
Not only do I know through reading that TMJ, tight necks, shoulders, lower backs, hips and hamstrings are rampant, as a long time movement teacher I can see how stiffly most people move and how common it is to have muscle patterns interfering with a flowing body.
Sometimes these issues can be released through emotional work or spiritual practices, but to the extent they’re caught in the muscles, the muscles need to be released too. Practices like yoga, Feldenkrais and the Psychophysical method (see my movement classes) and bodywork like craniosacral, Rolfing and Polarity therapy help to sort out the muscles and can help you release the issues if you’re willing to be open to all that arises from the work.
Close your eyes and scan your body from head to toe or toe to head. Note every place where you feel pain, tightness, numbness (lack of consciousness of that place) or discomfort. All those painful, tight paces are blocking the flow of prana and tell you something is buried there.
Do you have TMJ? A stiff neck? Trouble moving your hips? What blocks peace in your body? Why do you think you hold these patterns? What stops you from doing something to release it?
Just a suggestion of an area you might want to explore in a post for this month’s challenge to write about what blocks your peace. Link to the challenge post and tag it “J2PChallenge” and “Journey2Peace”.