I woke up at 3AM and punched the wall so hard my hand hurt the next day. I was angry. Furious. But I had no idea why.
It happened again the next night, and the next. I’d find myself suddenly awake in middle of the night – groggy, disoriented, and furious.
At the time it didn’t make sense – it wasn’t until later that I made the connection. The first night I woke up feeling like I wanted to kill something was also the first day I did an exercise called The Bow.
In The Bow you bend backwards, open the front of the body and breathe deeply into the diaphragm. The shoulders, chest and front of the hips are forced open – you shake and vibrate and it’s awkward and uncomfortable.
This was the first time I had breathed deeply and opened my body in my entire life. The anger was trapped in there and now it was getting out.
About a year later I got very strict with time management and tried to get a 4.0 GPA. I made a schedule every day and stuck to it – dividing my time into blocks of hours with activities assigned to each one.
I wasn’t used to living with my days boxed up like this, and again there was resistance in the form of anger.
I remember sitting outside after class early one morning on a beautiful day. Objectively things were going well, but I felt so angry that I wanted to yell or pick something up and smash it
I didn’t understand it then either – but now I recognize this type of anger as a sign of transformation. The roots inside are twisting and churning around, adapting to something new. That’s how growth happens. Evolution.
Sometimes when I stretch my hips open I get angry too. My mind says it’s anger about not being more flexible, but that doesn’t really make sense.
It says the anger is from the pain and discomfort of stretching – but I don’t think that’s it either. The emotion that’s trapped in there is getting out.
There’s emotion trapped in your body too, and I would invite you to do the same. Get it out.
Your hips are tight from sitting all day. Your shoulders are rolled forward, your chest is collapsed.
Your traps and neck are tight too – stretch them out. Especially if you lift weights, you probably don’t even know how tight you are.
Open the front of the body and see what happens. Stretch your hip flexors – the front of the hip. What do you feel?
Don’t pay attention to the thoughts – only the feeling. There is something there – but you have to do it to find out what it is.
Before writing this I did an hour of yoga and another hour of stretching and listening to classical music. Fully involved in the sensations, no thoughts. Then suddenly I’m crying and thinking about how one day my parents will die.
I’m not embarrassed to say that either. Human beings have emotions, and we’re all going to die. Suffering is trying not to feel what you feel.
I stop crying and get the urge to write this. I start typing but keep stretching, in my room, right now, because I don’t want the feeling to go.
Earlier today I cannot write – but then I spend two hours getting into my body and now my fingers are flying. I’ll edit this later but the meat of it, the balls of it – that comes out now.
And it feels cathartic – like it’s all been built up and is just getting the chance to come out now. Why couldn’t it flow before? I had to get out of the way first.
The more I open up my physical body, the more I grow as a person and the more I’m able to put back into the world. That’s not a coincidence – and I guarantee it’s the same for you too.
The body is the connection between consciousness and the physical world. It’s what roots us to this reality. Getting into your body is how you drop the ego and connect with God.
Then spontaneous things start to happen, once you feel the presence of the divine inside you. You’re out of your own way. The energy isn’t blocked by tightness or trapped emotion. The more you open up, the more God can come through.
And that’s what it’s all about.