A YOGI CHA BLOG
When the voice is shut down, the body screams
I did something I have never done since being an adult : I put on 90’s dance music and made myself dance around my teenage room. It was quite the experience.
First realisation : I don’t know how to dance anymore. In my teens I went to dance school and went to school dances regularly (OMG we could dance for hours, we should never have stopped doing that). As soon as a good tune came on, I’d jump out on the dance floor and rocked my socks off.
Now, when I started to move around it first felt like I had no idea what to do. I almost started aerobic movements or wanted to do sun salutations. It took me about 3 songs to feel comfortable.
But that’s the thing : 3 songs (or 4 maybe) in, teenage Charlotte was back again, doing her thing.
The body keeps the score.
As I went through my dance moment, all kinds of emotions fled through my being. I felt shame, I felt joy and I even felt my eyes water up.
The somewhat squared movements from the first song became more circular, hips were moving and the blood was flowing all over the body.
Because the natural flow is always there. But as life happens, we encounter situations that our being does not want to express. We repress and forget in order to continue. We block that charge and the energy will have to take a different route.
It doesn’t matter which discipline you come from, when there is discordance in a body, all practitioners of health will tell you that it will manifest somehow.
Conflict happens when opposing forces collide and a tension is created. That extra charge of energy will then find another channel because one thing all types of sciences can say is that the only constant is the flow of energy but it will always change shape. As long as it can continue flowing somehow, it will simply find a new outlet.
This is what happens in the early years of a child’s life as the internal survival of this energy progresses. The child will encounter situations that want to block the flow and the energy will therefore find its way around the obstacles.
In yoga we can speak of blocked chakras and in TCM of Qi/Chi.
When it comes to what kind of outlets the energy takes, in Clinical Psychology and Psychoanalysis, we speak of personality structures.
Freud declared that the personality structured itself according to certain realities that are integrated or not in the first couple of years. For most people in this world, we structure ourselves around the Neurotic personality and develop one out of two traits : Obsessive compulsive or Hysterical.
The fact that we go towards one or the other depends on how we resolve the famous Oedipus complex. This is why Freud saw a tendency for boys to become more obsessive compulsive and girls hysterical.
In today’s society many would state that this is outdated and simply not right, but I would ask you to not get blocked on the labels.
Because when we just read the traits and we look around, we begin to see this in ourselves and others. When we do, we make sense of the actions we take, people’s behaviours and what our bodies are communicating to us.
For instance, the obsessive compulsive personality will always fear that they are making the wrong decision. So naturally, they will want to control the outcome of their actions by considering all possible consequences. Commonly, we sometimes call this obsessive thinking. When we are caught in this rumination it is very hard to come out of it. Our world is reduced to a very narrow space and our person, to a very small self.
We feel constricted and observed, uncertain and rigid. Using our thinking mind to get ourselves out of this state is like painting oneself into a corner.
The hysterical personality will always doubt their own existence and will therefore need that to be confirmed by the Other. Naturally, other people’s opinion about them then becomes very important. Commonly, we sometimes call this kind of person a “people pleaser”. Our self worth is dependent on the feedback we receive and so, one day we can feel on top of the world. But all of a sudden, we feel completely insignificant and we begin to question ourselves.
Now, I bet you recognise yourself a little in both.
And that would be perfectly normal because it’s rare that we are just THAT rigid in our structure.
Actually, we will find traits of paranoia, narcissism and depression as well within.
Because life has us encounter many people and situations and none of them leaves us indifferent.
But we will notice a tendency towards one and we will very much notice it when it comes to how we relate to romantic relationships.
So by understanding ourselves more, we can soften those traits : if I see what I am doing and why I do it, the habit of doing it becomes conscious instead of unconscious. Only when the habit becomes conscious can I choose more freely what my next action will be. This loosens the rigidity of my structure and opens my life to a larger potential. From living a very small life, you become bigger than your problems.
And that is why it’s important to understand yourself.
Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. I’ve always had a deep curiosity toward eastern and western approaches to understanding the mind, and the ming/body union. You’ll find me in the lovely Canggu Bali, nestled amongst coconuts, palm trees and sunshine 🥥🌴🌞
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