Experiencing Inner Freedom

img_5420By Judith Bobbe, LCSW


“To the degree that you are able to access your soul and allow it to guide you, the less compelled you are to act on desires born from fear, old patterns, low self-esteem, and past hurts.” Rod Stryker

Yoga creates space in the mind and body so that we experience ourselves differently. We get out of our busy minds in which we typically get lost.

When we focus on the body in yoga practice, we feel the breath moving in the body, sinking into sensation. We surrender to a deeper experience of who we are. This deeper experience is an endless well of sustenance, nourishment and clarity. We can relax into who we are and feel safe.

Our minds are often filled with negative patterns, anxieties, and pressures from within and without, which increase tension in the mind and in the body. We typically identify with our thoughts which are limiting and repetitive. Opening to body and breath awareness increases our perceptions to the true dimensions of our being.

We then see options for change, for letting go of patterns and habits which do not serve us well. We begin to see that within us is the clarity of mind and perception that we need to guide us in our growth.

We gradually make changes in our thoughts and in our actions, which accumulate into greater health and wellbeing.

But how does yoga work so that we do experience this internal freedom?

We put ourselves into postures that open the channels of the body so the nervous system relaxes with increased circulation, and we breathe. We observe. The combination of breath and movement opens us up, frees up energy, and fuels our persistence. We shift our minds to a larger perspective of neutral observation.  We shift and observe over and over again. We experience that we are really much more than our minds usually allow us to know.

As we sink ourselves into the recesses of our own being we discover a light- filled ocean of calm, a reserve of energy and optimism which feeds our ability to let go of patterns and to feel ok.

In order to change, we need to feel ok, we need to feel safe.

Yoga postures and yogic breathing, deep relaxation, and meditation, all provide different ways of accessing our inner freedom and calm. When we practice over and over again we naturally learn to shift our psychological energies when we are not doing yoga, as well.

This is the miracle of yoga. We train and the training changes us. What we do with our breath and our body focuses and changes the mind.

A new set of automatic habits develop which are grounded in open awareness of choice, rather than in avoidance of discomforts.

The physiological benefits of opening the nervous system profoundly affect all aspects of ourselves, mental, emotional and physical. The Vagus nerve is directly stimulated and released, by the combination of deep breathing and the postures. This effect on the nervous system soothes and promotes health in all systems if the body.

These processes are now proven in current medical research, supporting the ancient practices, which have evolved into modern yoga:


for more information see my website:



Our Thoughts and the Process of Change


by Judith Bobbe, LCSW


“Whatever we think about and ponder frequently becomes the inclination of the mind” Buddha

Thoughts have great power. Thoughts and habits of thought create a mindset, which influence how we perceive reality.

When we are involved with negative thinking we feel powerless, drained, angry and alone. If we stop and look, we notice that we feel constricted in our bodies by negative emotions as well, which reinforces the negativity of the mind.
In reverse when we think optimistically and with openness to other points of view, we feel expansive free and strong. We grow in our capacity to be connected with life. We can breathe more freely.

The ironic problem of being human is that we identify with our thoughts. We identify with a very small part of who we are. We think there is nothing larger in us than the contents of our own logic.

In this we become trapped because the logic of our minds is so patterned by the past, so created by previous experiences,  that we cannot see outside of ourselves. We have a continual need to protect ourselves by protecting our own point of view. Because it is so familiar, we believe it to be true.

We cannot get outside of the mind, using the mind alone.

Practices such as meditation, mindfulness, yoga and breath awareness, give us glimmers of experience of larger truths. We get a felt sense of a larger world within ourselves. We practice shifting our attention to an experience of something larger and more mysterious, over and over again.
We want to live in these larger truths because we know somehow, that there is a limitless presence that we are a part of. We are happiest when we feel connected. We feel calmer and can let go of worries and negative thinking.

Connecting with a larger sense of presence can be an elusive pursuit. We repeatedly revert to the traps in our own minds. The good thing is that if we compassionately look at the dynamics of what happens inside our own minds, we can soften the patterns which create self imprisonment.

Patterns are parts of ourselves which need attention and care.

The process of growth in self- awareness is therefore a spiritual path, a pursuit of connection, both with larger parts of ourselves, and with relationships and the world in all its aspects.
A spiritual path is a commitment to cultivating openness to change, even when it is uncomfortable, and even when there is no guarantee of the results of our efforts. We become more naturally aligned with those glimmers of light, which with practice, grow into a flame. The flame warms and encourages us to be persistent.
The light within is always there and when we connect with it frequently, it drives us to become happier and more compassionate with ourselves and with all of life. We can be courageous and live differently, easing away from doubt, and inhabiting our strengths as the new normal.

For more information:



large grass closeup