If we allow ourselves to listen and become quiet, we all can develop a deep intuitive relationship to nature and to the world that can guide us, notes renowned yoga teacher Donna Farhi in this interview. This realization is one of the most important parts of the study and practice of yoga. As much as we might study anatomy and the physical aspects of practice, it’s far more important that we develop a felt kinesthetic, interceptive sense of the body.
“Then and only then, we’re receiving the “breaking news” — not yesterday, not tomorrow, not but what’s happening right now in our body,” says Donna. “And that becomes very relevant to responding moment to moment to what your body needs.”
The body is always signaling what it needs. If we’re truly listening and able to respond to what the body needs, that ultimately is our best guide to stay attuned to our inner wisdom.
The value of yoga is that it can help us build a repertoire of practice approaches, so that when we are receiving that “breaking news”, we can draw on many possible entry points to work with whatever is arising in our body –be it physically, energetically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually.
So cognitive understanding is important. But the true key to advancing in our practice is developing this deep interceptive sense. That offers the most potential for growth and deepening of our practice.
Otherwise, we might do a practice targeted to relieve lower back pain. But if we can’t sense for ourselves how much is enough, how long is long enough, when to stop, when to rest, when to go deeper, all the practices in the world won’t help us.
The key to finding the healer within and connecting with our inner wisdom lies in developing that deep kinesthetic awareness of the body where are able to use the practices of yoga skillfully and mindfully, Donna notes.
Donna further talks about the issue of structural imbalances, which often lie at the root of chronic pain problems and how we can work with these in our practice.
She focuses on the importance of the psoas muscle as a common origin of structural issues and discusses the best approaches to working with psoas release in our practice.