All I could say was, “Wow.”
Normally I don’t watch videos that are 15 minutes long. Somehow, I started and was captivated. I watched to the very end. Viewing the Mengele Twin Holocaust survivor video taught me something about myself.
As an educator and healer I know that the practice of forgiving is very healing and powerful. I help my clients come to a place of forgiveness. I train my yoga therapist students how to help their clients forgive.
And I thought I practiced what I preached.
After watching Eva Mozes Kor speak of being tortured as a “medical experiment” and her journey to complete forgiveness, I was suddenly aware of some small grievances and grudges I still held. I thought, if she can forgive the person who tortured her, why can’t I forgive these small incursions?
Why am I not allowing myself to be as free and empowered as she is?
I have let go of some long held hurts over the years. My yoga practice is what helped me to see them for what they were and helped me to realize that holding onto bitter or “if only…” emotions, only hurts me over and over again every time I think of them. They blocked energy that now can go into my greater health and happiness.
On this day I became aware of minor grievances and grudges I was still holding. I was more than ready to abandon them for good. My many years of yoga, yoga therapy and practices of forgiveness and gratitude allowed me to quickly release them. As I emancipated these feelings through forgiveness, I became more fully liberated.
I felt increased power and energy flowing through me.
The next morning I woke up a freer, more empowered person than I was the previous day. Thanks goes to Eva for helping me to gain the wisdom to see that only I was suffering from holding these grudges — however small.
In forgiveness you can take back your power in all of its magnificence.
There are many aspects to forgiving. There is the forgiving of grudges and grievances that I was experiencing to the torture that Eva had endured and everything in between. There is no one single method for forgiving. It must suit you and your circumstances.
Yoga helped me to understand why and how to forgive — yoga can help you too.
- Yoga practices help you to see clearly and understand what otherwise might feel incomprehensible.
- Yoga helps you to feel supported and connected to others.
- Yoga helps you to let go of what no longer serves you.
- Yoga helps you to receive what you need.
We must first and foremost be sure that we forgive ourselves. We often neglect this important step.
Remember also these important forgiveness principles:
- In forgiveness of others we are not necessarily saying that what another person did was right or should go unpunished.
- In our forgiveness we must not become doormats to a perpetuator.
- Forgiveness can be given directly to a person or collection of people or can be done silently and privately.
You can learn to forgive on your own, or have a yoga therapist or other health professional help you or it may be a friend or group that supports you in your process.
My friend and colleague, Dr. Melanie Greenberg, writes in her Psychology Today article, 6 Important Facts About Forgiveness Why to consider forgiving even if you will never forget
“For some of us, hanging onto the anger and bitterness means giving the perpetrator continued power over our lives, while letting it go frees us psychologically.”
Dr. Greenberg outlines when and how to appropriately forgive so that we can become free and take back our power. She also describes the research that shows forgiveness can make us healthier and happier.
7 ways yoga supports and helps you to forgive
- Yoga practices, especially yoga meditation and breathing, stimulates the part of the brain that helps you to feel more connected to your environment and to others. The feeling of connection makes it easier to let go of any feelings of resentment, hurt, anger and bitterness.
- Speaking of these raw emotions, yoga practices also help you to decrease the activity in the areas of the brain where we find these emotions and increase the activity in the areas of the brain where we experience clarity, joy and happiness.
- Yoga reduces stress hormones. Chronically activated stress hormones make it difficult to center and focus on the act of forgiveness.
- Yoga increases the hormones that make you feel focused, confident and happy — feelings which make the process of forgiving easier.
- Yoga teaches us that we can do difficult things – like hold a pose for a long time, change our breathing in different situations or sit quietly without moving – and be in control, calm, focused and serene.
- Yoga teaches us that even if we are not in control of life’s circumstances, we can control how we react to them.
- Last but not least, yoga teaches us how to control our energy. This means that we can allow our energy to spiral downwards in negativity or spiral upwards in life affirming positivity.
- Yoga practices can give immediate relief, positively change your hormones in 2 minutes or less and help you feel in control.
To sustain those feelings, we need a regular yoga practice. Getting to the place of controlling our energy and our reactions all or most of the time, takes patience and support.
Forgiving is a process as Eva illustrates so powerfully. Begin your journey today so that you too can become free and powerful.
Here at 2 Minute Yoga, you have the perfect blueprint to establish an effective daily practice.
May your life be blessed with forgiveness and joy, that you may stand in your power, love and magnificence.