Our Body has All the Answers. We Need to Listen to It.

Our life experience expresses itself in our body. That’s why I invite yoga therapy clients to dive in the depth of their flesh to listen to the body’s messages. Then, I encourage them to speak their truth to truly meet another and, ultimately, to free themselves from emotional wounds.

It’s during the course of two very serious diseases that I started doing work on the body and how it relates to emotions. I have learned a lot along the way. I have learned any trauma, any information that is too painful to process consciously, any suppressed emotion finds its way in the body in the form of tension and, sometimes, disease. I have learned our psyche strives to forget these painful experiences and feelings. We take refuge behind our masks and protections and, often, we set our body aside.

However, if we want to go deeper in our wellness journey, if we want to live a life that is in harmony with who we truly are, we need to feel, become aware and accept those suppressed emotions so that we re-integrate them into our life’s journey.

To do that, we need our body’s help simply because our psyche and body are intimately connected. They are like the hand and the glove. If the hand moves, the glove moves too. In other words, our life experience always finds a way to express itself in our physical body.

So how can we heal emotional wounds with the body’s help?

The body speaks to us but, most of the time, we don’t pay attention to those signs, we don’t feel anything. That’s why any healing process starts with allowing ourselves to pause–so we can go inwards and listen. Aline Frati, my yoga teacher, used to say, “There is no healing without taking a pause.”

“What do you feel?” is the fundamental question

Because of this, my yoga therapy method includes a style of gentle yoga that brings the person to focus on a slow, deep yogic breathing while going in and out of simple poses at a slow pace.

“What do you feel?” is the fundamental question that needs to be asked. The goal is to bring us to feel our body and listen to what it says, to be on the lookout of what the body is expressing about ourselves, about our emotional and physical wounds. The point is to become the explorer and the observer of what triggers our emotional and physical pain.

Once we have listened to what the body says, then we can move on to the other aspect of the healing journey: to put our feelings, our life experience into words. We need to share our wounds and our dreams with others who can listen. To heal, we need to truly meet another. This is the reason why all my classes start and end with a healing circle. I ask participants to participate regularly to the classes. That’s because each person heals thanks to the yoga practice, the work I do as a facilitator and also thanks to the relationship they build with the others.

This healing journey is a hard road. It requires courage and patience. However, the effort is a small price to pay for more wellness and joy in our lives.

Photo: Femme Accroupie (Crouching Woman), 1880-1882, Auguste Rodin. From the”Picasso-Rodin” exhibit, Musée Picasso, Paris, June 2021.

“Cathedral Energy”

A French architect who believes in “sacred architecture”, Pascal Boivin, wrote a text the night of Notre Dame Cathedral’s devastating fire. Here is most of it. Boivin talks about the tragedy as a “redemptive fire”—regardless of our beliefs and faith. Powerful.

“Heart of Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral, the spiritual lighthouse of ‘Ile de France’, is the historic axis of the nation. Our Elders, the master builders, have founded a radiant home on ‘Ile de la Cité’ that has fed the pages of time. The cathedral is a master piece in both the French and European landscape, an energy center which has irrigated Europe’s spirit for almost a thousand years.

Is the fire of April 15th, 2019, which occurred at the beginning of Easter Week (…), a coincidence?

Holy, religious places, which are energy centers, speak to the souls of those who are ready to hear them.

A touristic jewel, Notre Dame Cathedral is visited daily by tens of thousands of people. Energy workers of spiritual places recognize that this constant flow of people who are not necessarily drawn to spirituality—which the church was initially designed for—affects the place’s sensitive quality. These great buildings are soundboards that the architects of the Middle Ages have tuned to carry the vibrations of their time’s liturgy. The content has evolved over the centuries, but the power of these energy vessels has remained intact. Few insiders still know how to sail these transmitters-receptors of exchanges between the Earth and the cosmos, between secular life and Spirit’s mysteries (…).

If the cathedral is the stone on which the Catholic Church is built, the Republic of France also made the cathedral hers. The centuries’ legends have penetrated the stone joints, and the People of Paris have hidden their sorrows inside them.

This evening, the sky was set on fire, and the fire reached “the forest”. The sky has spoken.

For the builders, the roof’s slope represents the sky’s root and every angle’s direction puts the building’s proportions into vibration. The cathedral, suddenly beheaded, now seems flattened. All of her antennas, that launched to the stars, collapsed. The woods caught fire, the lead melted, the roofs flared up. The Gargoyles don’t have anything to disgorge anymore, the bare vaults are now left to the uncertainty of very bad weather.

If the burst of perfection allows Notre Dame Cathedral’s stone to resist like that of her sister, the Cathedral of Reims, which held up during the bombing of 1914, the Earth’s flows will find, once more, the path towards the sky and the vessel will spurt again towards the skies.

This fire of Easter offers jointly a spiritual connotation, a symbolic dimension, and a political reach.

On the spiritual level, the forest’s fire, the frame and the spire’s collapse, and the bruises on the monument’s jewels are a metaphor of the Christian martyr. Notre Dame is home to the Christ’s crown of thorn, and some believers will see an echo that bounces through the millennia.

On the symbolic level, the cathedral is the place that welcomes the People and awakens it to a sense of elevation. Unlike the heavy Romanesque vaults often reserved for the inner contemplation of communities of initiates, the stone lace of the gothic naves brings the Light in, the Light that makes us look to the sky. The cathedral is a media, an amplifier of vibrations that stimulates and harmonizes vital rhythms with those of the cosmos.

Paris. The docks. June 2018.

This redemptive fire robs us, for a long time, of the place of awakening and forces us to draw our own forces together. The fire is here to remind us that the first temple is our body. It tells us that the vibration is in the heart of our cell. It shows us that the Light is the information that gives the breath to our DNA. It is no longer about looking for spirituality elsewhere, in religions, in texts or in sacred places, which is what most people do. Spirit is at the heart of the inner void, the subatomic space, beyond the particles, this interstellar vacuum whose emptiness is the substance of our wholeness.

Finally, the network of cathedrals creates a network of communication parallel to the network of monasteries of different religious orders, especially that of the Cistercians. This network in the European territory has connected the construction of the European civilization beyond the kingdoms and nations. It has woven its values, and carried the power of thought (…).

The emotion and the burst of solidarity that brings the destruction of Notre Dame Cathedral reveal the universal aspect of this place full of history. Everyone in Europe relates with this tragedy because everyone carries such a place within, that bears their sorrows, their dramas, their grieves, and also their glories, their celebrations, and their popular jubilation.

The cathedral is a place of reconciliation and peace. The most iconic of them falls apart and all others rise to support and help her rise again.

The fire of action calls for initiatives, solidarity, responsibilities.

The ‘Cathedral Energy’ may be born on this first day of Easter week. The death of the place itself carries the rebirth of a place of life which everyone, as a torchbearer, carries within (…).

May this fire of centuries clean the slag of our stories, and unite beings in sharing their universal common heritage. The Inner Cathedral is the place of a generous and vibrant inner world that recognizes oneself in the other and welcomes their richness.”

Text written originally in French by Pascal Boivin, architect, on April 15, 2019.

Thank you to Vincent Houba, Les Architectures Invisibles, for posting this text on Facebook and bringing it to my attention.

NB: This English version is most probably an automated translation (FB). I lightly reviewed it. There is still some “approximate” English. Hopefully, you still got the idea. The text is published in its entirety except for three paragraphs I deleted, I felt they were irrelevant to the US reader.

What Does Your Body Say?


April 27, 2017. Imagine a Japanese garden in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico, with hot tubs, saunas, the sound of water and birds... Ten Thousand Waves is the most awesome spa experience I've ever had. 

Learning to listen to our body is a beautiful gift we can give ourselves. Yoga therapy helps do just that--listen to our body, un-knot the muscular structure, feel fully in the moment and find the words to say who we are and what we feel. All crucial steps in our healing journey.

If we’re not sure of how we feel about something, our bodies hold the key to helping us determine our truth. All we have to do is listen. That’s because our body has a consciousness. In fact, our body is the exact reflection of our soul, and goes through our life’s experiences–whether positive or negative—just like our soul does.

For example, when we’re around a person who brings us joy, we feel comfortable and relaxed in our body. On the contrary, when we’re in the company of a person who we feel is hostile, we feel tense and unease. If we could step out of our skin and see ourselves, we would see how much our body language speaks to us.

Sometimes, we experience something that puts us so much in despair that there is no way to vent the grief and the pain. Both feelings become buried in the body.

Dr. Alexander Lowen (1910-2008), American physician and psychotherapist, developed a specific type of body psychotherapy called Bioenergetic Analysis, and worked all his life on the continuity between body and mind. He said “Every chronic muscular tension in the body has associated with it sadness, fear, and anger.”

I see it in my clients and I see it in me. A wound, when not healed, will show itself in the body in one form or the other—through a muscular restriction, or shallow breathing, fatigue or even an illness.

That’s when yoga therapy –which is delivered on a one-on-one basis or in small group settings-- kicks in. First, the practice requires that you pause--a must in the healing process. Healing only occurs when the body and the mind are relaxed, not when on the go. Then, the yogic breathing associated with the movements help you go inwards, un-knot the musculature structure, and read your body’s messages.

Yoga gives you access to your wound, helps you become fully aware of it, feel and sense it completely. Exploring and recognizing your wound, what is weighing on your heart will, in turn, help you express the grief through words and even crying releases. All for the sake to clean the wound and let the healing occur. The process may be challenging at times as we have this natural feeling of being scared of approaching our wounds. Still, when we do the work, it always brings us to a state of feeling more alive and experiencing more joy. And that’s the beautiful thing about yoga therapy.