Expression vs Depression

Body medicine


10/8/20232 min read

Is your life full of unexpected plots and interesting knots?

So are your muscles, particularly when you stress and fret about things. Things you cannot control that make you quake in your boots, or keep you awake at night. That hideous stiffness that creeps into your bones and joints often caused by worry, and it’s hard to manage. Stress wears you like a garment when you’re caught off guard.

In the depths of the anxious blues, it’s best to not sit still too long brooding. Your mind can be a bad neighbourhood. Sometimes it’s not good to spend too much time there.

Keep moving, come to class. Move your body. Somehow exercise releases the mind so a lightness can come in that gives hope. Passive remedies like being still, meditating, having a massage, enjoying aroma therapy, a magnesium bath, or a few beverages can be like chalk on a black board. That’s just my experience. For some people it works as advertised. I find that such things are best enjoyed when you are not stressed. For me: Exercise! That is the remedy for stress.

Take Sasangasana - Rabbit Pose, for instance. It’s that pose where you roll forward into a ball, grip the heels and pull. It’s near the end of class when you are thoroughly exhausted, and your internal body temperature is nice and toasty. You are too tired to stress, too tired to think. At that point you only follow instructions best you can because you want it to be over asap.

Let’s contemplate the awesomeness. You are curling into the foetal position, closing off all senses as you go inward, especially in the final seconds. Time slows down to a heartbeat and a breath. Your spine and organs are compressed, temporarily slowing circulation. The spinous process – wing-like projections of bone that points outward from each vertebra along the spine are flexed to the max. All the back muscles are completely stretched, untying muscle knots and spasms, extending ligaments and tendons all over, joints slip softly back into their proper place. De-stressing, releasing the hold of tension on the body. Body medicine.

Then Savasana - Dead Body Pose, complete stillness for a few seconds to allow the healing to sink in deep.

I mean, that’s just one posture doing all of that and so much more. There are 25 other postures to work the stress out into a puddle of sweat. Our hope for all of us is to learn to use exercise as an outlet. Expression in movement vs depression in brooding.