Processing emotions and stress in the mind and body
As surfing and yoga continues to be one of my greatest teachers and inspirations in life, I recently learned another valuable experience. I humbly share my story and life lessons with you, as I feel we can all learn and grow from each other. I had just come out of an insanely busy holiday season and some things I was still emotionally processing with the year of my life in review. So of course I went surfing!
I pulled up to the beach and saw a few guys walking by with big boards in hand. Best indication the swell was big and I'd better be ready to charge. I'm always seeing how small of a board I can get away with in big surf. I took the long paddle out on my Channel Island 6'10" gun and watched some sizable sets rolling in. Not too many guys out. Slow coming in but when they came they looked like small mountains. It took a bit for me to get in the right spot to catch one of them as my board was much smaller than the rest of the 9'guns in the line up. Precision was key. Once I caught one I got on a nice little role and picked a few good rides off the boys. I dropped into a solid one that kept me driving high down the line as it freight trained down the reef. As I kicked out of the wave I still had speed and was air born out the back of the wave, my board touched down to the water my hips pressed onto the board with my legs lifted and extended up in the air. I felt a sudden pinch and spasm in my lumbar, low back. I immediately got off my board and swam a little to ensure the release of any more of a spasm and calmed myself breathing slow and deep. I caught the next wave in perplexed as to why such a simple kick out effected me so much. I proceeded in the next two days to do whatever it took to release the spasm, inflammation and misalignment that happened. It was the first day of a week long building big swell and I wasn't about to miss it.
I went straight to my chiropractor at Sophia Wellness. Her technique and style of work is absolutely amazing! It is a form of touch therapy using breathing methods and movements to mobilize and align the spine without any major adjustments or manipulations. She gave me some exercises that were similar to my warm up yoga routine and asked me to do my best to release some emotions that were bottled up in my low back.
Here in lies the challenge and learning process. What goes in must come out. Things that we think up in our head that then transfer into the heart and into different parts of the body storing emotions that inevitably come out in one way or another. Ideally we let them go in the moment with expectance forgiveness and gratitude, learn the lesson and move forward. But when we hold on, the body can store that bottled up emotion or trauma and may even build up inside, potentially causing bigger challenges. The body sends us warning signals, pain, accidents, injuries, and illness for example when we aren't processing in the moment and releasing these emotions, trauma or toxins in the body. When she said I was holding on to some deep emotions I realized why my back seized up. I hadn't let go of some emotional stresses.
New Years resolution? Or life lessons becoming clearer...it quickly became a major goal and intention in life purpose to really truly be kind to myself and to those that cross my path. I was still holding on to some emotions and samskara that was in process and put me in great awareness of it in big surf. Life has its ups and down and challenges. It's a daily process for us all. Lets choose forgiveness and gratitude within ourselves, each other and circumstances that life presents to us. Hopefully through my experiences I can share some insight that may inspire you along your journey.
Here are some injury recover solutions that have been effective for me. Most importantly, be kind to yourself. In the first 48-72 hours, consistent icing, hot baths with salt and unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Rest, drink lots of water, eat anti-inflammatory foods and fresh cold press juices. Depending on the degree of injury, light massage to flush out the tension and trauma, maybe acupuncture and making sure your body is in alignment by seeing a chiropractor that is gentle and effective.
In the next Blog I will share with you some strength stretch techniques that put me back in the surf right away. Maybe, chose to slow down a little, breath deep, let your heart direct your intentions and path. I encourage you to be kind to yourself and the rest will follow.
Have a beautiful weekend and live in gratitude!