What Do Archaeology & Yoga Have in Common?

by Jeanette Roy, 500RYT

Having an aware yoga practice is a bit like being an archaeologist to the vast self. We carefully dig through different aspects of the psyche, practicing self compassion, never really knowing what will be unearthed. Traditionally, a yoga practice looks not only at the physical self but at all aspects: the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual are all interwoven.


When we decide to explore our inner landscape using yoga as the tool for self discovery, a strange thing begins to happen—we begin to open to layers of the self we did not even know existed. We begin to look within and excavate artifacts, shining the light on some parts we might want to discard or overlook. Each beautiful artifact found inside is a part of what makes up the individual as a whole. Beginning to see the beauty in the parts of ourselves that we reject is when true alchemy starts to occur, and healing and transformation are then possible.

Self inquiry and breath are just a couple of the tools in the toolbox that support an individual to dig deeper and explore their unique inner landscape. Through the practice of yoga, areas that once seemed like dead end streets open up and begin to feel as vast and spacious as Africa.

There are many layers that appear as road blocks, like layers of earth that cover over hidden gold, buried due to traumatic life experiences. Some artifacts found might not even belong to you. If one comes from a background of trauma, then shame, guilt, and self blame might need to be consciously analyzed and symbolically shipped back to their land of origin. Otherwise, they become stored in the museum of internalized pain within the body of an individual.

As we begin to do a yoga practice that includes all aspects of the self and accept the light and dark within, transformation truly happens. It can be messy, dirty work; patience and perseverance are required. Just as an archaeologist in the outside world looks for lost artifacts, so becomes the yoga practice to the inner world, eventually finding the gold, the wholeness, the union within the heart—this is the place where heaven and earth meet.

Jeanette Roy, 500RYT has been certified as a yoga teacher since 2002. In 2007 she traveled to India to study yoga at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandarin and furthered her understanding of the philosophy she teaches. From there she continued to study yoga at Loyola Marymount University’s Yoga Philosophy Program. She specializes in working with trauma survivors.

For more information, visit TheHealingRose.org, or contact Roy at [email protected] or 310-383-5869. See ad page 63.

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