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Dec 8, 2010

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A religion, a belief system or a way of life will not necessarily suit all those born into it. For some it will work. For others it will be damaging. And you'll feel worse than a “fish out of water” - you'll feel, or be made to feel, guilty about it.

The lonely legacy of CATHOLIC guilt is what I call the left-over loneliness that comes from low self-esteem, the pain and hurt from the damage of the catholic way (that's the family way, schooling community etc) and also the confusion and conflict from the twistings in the teaching – especially about our origins as humans. It leaves you lost as to how the world works – and to how people really behave and why.

But nothing stays the same forever, and everything is constantly changing. There's compensation in everything. In every 'wrong' there is the potential for 'right', if you look for it. And Yoga gave me the way to find the 'right' in my life when I was healing from CATHOLIC guilt.

Healing with yoga is profound, deep and lasting. It helps, in my experience, with a new stronger outlook, with your identity, values and lifestyle changes. Here are 3 ways I found to heal guilt with Yoga:

Letting Go: Awareness and acceptance of what has happened is the first step. For that you usually need quiet downtime. Releasing the past and letting go takes time and it also takes a certain state of mind . Relaxation in yoga is one of the most profound ways of reaching a state of deep contemplation for the letting go to happen.

Try this for free: Relax from the Help I Need Yoga free downloads in the ASHRAM  <!-- @page { margin: 2cm } P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm } A.western:link { so-language: zxx } -->free downloads on the site:

Flushing Out The Sadness: Letting the feelings of sadness or loneliness come up, the emotions to surface and flow and allowing them to wash through are all deeply therapeutic techniques of Yoga. Stillness and breath flow really help. Simply learning to slow down enough to be still and silent is a powerful thing to give yourself. Allowing your emotions to do the work for you, allowing the breath to breathe you is an amazing gift to yourself and it's a gift that you control.

Try this for free: Breath from the Help I Need Yoga free downloads in the ASHRAM <!-- @page { margin: 2cm } P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm } A.western:link { so-language: zxx } -->free downloads on the site:

Wipe The Slate Clean:  Contemplation is one of the steps on the path to meditation – it allows the mind to settle down into the state of silence necessary for meditation – it allows your thoughts to come up into awareness for your mind, body and emotional system to heal, for you to make sense of your experiences and put them into some place on your soul's path. Then you can wipe the slate clean and face the future. Contemplation in Yoga is an ancient practice of learning from the teacher's truths. You may have been told forgiveness is the way to healing? Well, this is how you start . . .

Try this for free: Forgive from the Help I Need Yoga free downloads in the ASHRAM <!-- @page { margin: 2cm } P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm } A.western:link { so-language: zxx } -->free downloads on the site:

Remember what I said about origins? Well, growing what I understood about the origins of Yoga, some of the fascinating stories about the Yogis, gave me a frame in my head to think about how life can be better and vital. It's an amazingly powerful legacy – better than guilt any day.

And, related to nothing really to do with guilt and Catholic guilt (thank god!) I'm delighted that we've had Chris from Silencio's agreement to include the ZenZen music track as a download from our site – this is the beautiful backing music to Susan's Zen Sun DVD and we'll get it on sale in the Storefront just as soon as we can get the technicalities taken care of!

Susan Ni Rahilly's book Daddy's Girl's Guilty as Hell is now on release again as an eBook – and published for the first time in Ireland – available as download from the Storefront. (go to the Sutras of Shopping area) and information is in the Cafe “Books” section

Founder of suZenYoga, Susan Ni Rahilly is a published author, Meditation and Hatha Yoga Teacher.  Her teaching typically draws on breathwork in deep Hatha practice, as well as Raja Yoga (the Yoga of Meditation). She lives in West Cork, Ireland where she writes and teaches.

23 years in her own practice now, and teaching Meditation for 18 years, Susan’s Hatha Yoga teaching is inspired by Zen and her ongoing research into our innate abilities for deep listening and intuitive practice.  And never more so than in her work with children and young people. Susan describes her approach:  “My Yoga became a way in which I could experience life and my yoga developed with my experience of life:  exactly what it’s supposed to be, individual, vast and rich.


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Posted: Dec 8, 2010 9:06am


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susan geelan
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Baltimore, Co Cork, Ireland
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Hi Salem -- I DO believe old souls exist -- my wife and I both feel that our sixteen-year-old daughter was born an old soul -- she has wisdom and perception beyond her years -- she knows intuitively what is true -- maybe we all do but tend to lose tha...