What is the point? The definition of integrate is to combine and make into a whole. But why does it even matter? What is wrong with compartmentalizing each area of my life? Diet over here, yoga here, healthcare here, maybe some self care over here. What is wrong with that? And why even make the effort to integrate our world?
The most effective way to govern a society is to have all the parts commune with each other (ideally). So money, social concerns, military, foreign policy. Each part effects the other. It is nearly impossible to change one aspect without it affecting another. Our body is the same. Health cannot be compartmentalized. As much as we would like to ignore it, each area of our lives bleeds into the other, just as in the example of the society.
We work too much – it affects our sleep, clarity, physical and mental bodies and capacity to overall be healthy. We develop sedentary habits and our bodies are affected, our sense of well being, mental health, and our ability to self motivate. We have back pain – it affects our ability to exercise, be motivated, mental strength and clarity, and social activities.
I think it is important to fall back into ourselves. Meaning, bring our awareness back to our bodies, and not just the physical bodies, but the subtle and spiritual ones as well. We have the ability to integrate. To treat one thing by manipulating the others, and to eventually work toward equilibrium in all areas.
I think the same goes for the way we treat ailments or disease processes. Being a nurse for ten years, I have seen western medicine save the doomed. I have brought people back to life with drugs developed in westernized labs. I have recovered patients after they have had someone else heart transplanted into them. It is humbling to be a part of someone’s journey in such a vulnerable time.
I have sat and spoken with people for hours after they have lost houses, marriages, children to addiction. I have also seen how just a few words and a community of people can help someone gain all of these things back.
I have instructed students who have said yoga has changed their life. I have seen the “yoga glow” after a class or session with someone. I have seen people weep during asana practice, just from feeling embodied.
I see each modality as beneficial – medicine, community, counseling, yoga, and mental health. I have seen each part work and heal. My belief is we can achieve maximum well being borrowing philosophies from all these ways to health. Why can’t a yoga therapist work with a Family Physician and a Therapist? I think it is time to stop boxing our health, and really our entire SELVES into compartments.
I think it is time to unbox everything and throw it into the middle of the room and wade through what we can reuse and what we can throw out. I think it is time to start to work together instead of against each other. We are an individualistic society, taught early on to reach for some kind of optimal “success” and to obtain it through our own personal efforts instead of utilizing the resources around us and working together.
So lets integrate. Lets fall back into ourselves and catch each other when we misstep and fall down. Lets be a part of a whole instead of a lots of parts that appear whole. I believe that we can integrate. That is why I found M3Yoga. I truly believe in the power of integration. I have segregated my life for so long, and I ready to be unboxed. And I am certainly ready to be there for others when they are ready to unpack.