Episode 30: Messages from our Bodies and How Anahata Yoga can Help You Listen with Anne Douglas

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Happy New Year! We kick off 2018 with an episode about the significance of tapping into your body's intelligence.  Anne Douglas is a teacher and yoga scholar who has had over three decades of experience practicing/studying in the field.  She is the creator of Anahata Yoga Therapy, which is a path for self-inquiry, loving kindness and the integration of what she calls "the issues in the tissues".  We spend the hour talking about Anne's journey through different forms of yoga, the relationship between emotion and body symptoms and how Anahata Yoga Therapy can help.

Key Nuggets:

  • Anahata Yoga
    • Anahata is the heart chakra, and translated from Sanskrit it means“unstruck" like a bell singing out in its true nature
    • Anahata Yoga therapy is coming into the heart to find authentic expression
  • Kripalu Yoga is the practice where it all started for Anne.  It is a spiritual practice rooted in Kundalini Yoga (energetics of yoga) and comes from the Kashmir tradition which embraces a nondual view, going beyond the teachings of Patanjali. 
  • Body Intelligence:
    • Sometimes body pains are a reflection of our emotional world.  As Anne calls it, "the issues in the tissues". 
    • There can be trau.mas experienced or false beliefs built in our childhood that needs to be released
    • If not released properly, emotional traumas go underground into tissues and can get stuck in body.  In psychology it’s referred to as “bound arousal”
    • Initial shutdown usually manifests as symptoms in the diaphragm but can show up anywhere ex. hips, back, hamstrings…
    • There is a form of training called Wavework training which studies the energetics of emotion.  Based on this study, emotions move.  They need to move.  Wavework helps access emotions as energy and as emotion is felt, it is released and integrated through the body.
    • Allowing the emotion to move through is counteracting our developed behaviour of holding in our emotions.
  • Two views on yoga: dualistic and non dualistic:
    • The classical teachings of Pantanjali is dualistic, the two sides being:
      •  Prakiti – all of nature, the potential of all that’s to manifest
      • Purusha – seer, witness
      • In this view, pure consciousness is separate from all of nature. 
      • In practice, it looks like a yoga practice where you try to work your way out of the body.  The belief is “I am not this body, I am pure consciousness”
    • There is also a non dual path which recognizes that there’s one reality and prakriti arises out of purusha.  The two are one (ie. The iconic figures like the Shiva Shakti being in an embrace). 
      • In this view, there is no split between the seer and nature.  We are all one.
  • How to start applying the healing powers of Anahata Yoga:
    •  During your next yoga practice, make an extra effort to tap into the body. Notice the dominant sensations. Dialogue with it....you can start by saying “hello”.  This will give your body a sense of unconditional presence. 
    • By using phrases like “I’m going to be with you for ____ minutes”,  “I am here, I will stay with you”, you build a relationship with your inner self. 

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Your body is your vehicle in this lifetime.  Maintain it like you would a car with high octane fuel and anything else it needs then you can achieve a lot.  Perfect timing, quantity and rhythm beyond what you can imagine.           


If you have any questions for Anne or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:  www.anahatayogatherapy.ca

Email:  anahatayoga@telus.net