Today in yoga teacher training, we learned about Jivamukti Yoga. This style of yoga is about connection. My basic understanding is that Jivamukti connects us with our divine self, and also with god. It helps us reach a place of “enlightenment.”
On Thursday, I wrote a blog post about Day 600 and how I cried in yoga. In that class, I came to the earth-shattering realization that I am never going to cut again. That particular class was set up to be similar to a Jivamukti style class, but I didn’t know that at the time. Today, while learning about Jivamukti, I sat in awe, amazed at how yoga really does work. In Thursday’s class, I had no idea what Jivamukti was or what the intentions of that practice were. I simply wanted to practice yoga on Day 600 with one of my favorite instructors. Despite not knowing the intention of Jivamukti, I gained all of the benefits from it. For the first time ever, I believed that I know longer needed to cut myself! That is huge!
The Jivamukti practice today was much harder, physically, than what we practiced on Thursday. I found myself getting very overwhelmed and frustrated. The music was so loud and the guest teacher was calling out poses and talking nonstop. It was sensory overload. For whatever reason, part of my PTSD included unusually heightened senses, particularly to sound.
When things are loud or there are a lot of things going on at once, I have anxiety attacks. I started to have one today on my yoga mat during the practice. I eventually tapped my fingers together and focused only on my breath. The remainder of the sequence seemed more manageable once I got grounded. Shortly after, it occurred to me that my body has been so hurt in the past… the reason I don’t enjoy rigorous yoga is because I don’t like for my body to be in pain or fatigued like that. My body has been hurt enough in the past.
Overall, I love the idea of Jivamukti. I saw its benefits play out in my own life in my very first class. While I didn’t enjoy the physical challenge of today’s class, or the sensory overload, I did gain some insight as to why I don’t enjoy those things.