These bodies we inhabit are filled with stories and experiences from our past that we carry with us into each moment, many of them excruciatingly painful. Whatever we have endured – whether it’s an alcoholic parent, an eating disorder, or sexual abuse – we carry with us the trauma from that experience or event. Trauma leads to emotional distress on varying levels and, where we put ourselves in danger, often compromising our health, is when we ignore the effects of trauma on our bodies, minds, and hearts.
Bottling up trauma is like continually sweeping dust under a rug where you can’t see it, but you know it’s there. It builds and builds and over time the rug barely touches the ground and is uneven and imbalanced from the piles of dust swept under it.
When we bottle up the emotions caused by trauma we essentially do the same thing. Only our ungrounding is disassociation from our body, mind, and spirit. We disassociate by way of a myriad of distractions. To name a few: addiction, control, tv, our phones, social media, food, and negative, self-critical thoughts.
My trauma came from a deep desire to control which created an eating disorder. Not only was I inflicting physical harm upon myself but I was deeply rooted in a cycle of unhealthy thoughts and beliefs about myself.
Yoga allowed me to find freedom from these limiting thoughts. In college I joined a small yoga studio where I noticed I had only been going through the physical motions of yoga. I was unrolling my mat, doing the poses, sinking into shavasana at the end as I was told, but not reflecting on what I was experiencing or learning. One day in class I had one of those “ah-ha” moments while looking at my thighs. For the first time EVER I didn’t want them to be thinner, smoother, or more stick-like. I wanted them exactly as they were because they were powerful and beautiful. I realized I was in complete contradiction with myself: on the one hand I was going to yoga class which was MEANT to be healing but I wasn’t allowing myself to receive the healing because I wasn’t diving deep into the true practice of yoga. No – whenever I was off my mat and out of the studio I was in a self-hate state and physically damaging my body by purging every calorie I possibly could.
By exposing myself to the healing work of yoga, it allowed me to see how badly I was hurting myself and brought me to a level of consciousness I had never before been aware of. Bulimic behaviors became the norm until I experienced self love and healing through the modality of yoga.
I have developed a method that uses yoga in a healing transformative way to unlock trauma in the body, mind, and heart. This method involves the physical practice of yoga as well as meditation, discussion, sharing experiences, and writing.
As most of us already know, yoga stretches far beyond the four walls of a studio or the four corners of our mat. The deepest work of yoga happens off the mat – it happens in those moments when we are alone with ourselves, when we are arguing with a loved one, or stuck in traffic. Are we kind to ourselves when we approach a difficult pose? Or do we become small and critical, echoing maybe a voice from our past that is on constant replay in our mind? Can we shift those gremlins and essentially retrain our brains to … a new normal.
The work of yoga happens when we take what we learned ON our mat and apply it to the most challenging moments in life – when we are called to rise and be our most authentic selves. When we can connect with our TRUTH – what we feel, need, and desire – we begin the process of releasing emotional trauma stored in the body. We begin the work on the mat and then notice how we can carry it with us into everything else that we do.
How do we communicate what we’ve learned about ourselves effectively? How do we draw deeper understandings? Through meditation, discussion, sharing, and writing. This is why these are essential components of my method. The movement is a gateway to deeper understanding and knowing of yourself.
Interested to learn more? Comment below or send me a private message for a free consultation to see if I can help you. OR – come to a class and experience it for yourself!
Yes! Sign me up for my initial consultation please.