Trauma happens to all of us. It happened to my hip recently when I fell down a few stairs and my body bruised. It happened a few months ago when I received death threats for bringing a yoga class for people of color to Rainier Beach Yoga. Read this article I wrote about it here.
Trauma can be big or small. It can happen to the body or the mind. It can last for a relatively short period of time or for years, but it happens to us all.
Navigating the last few months has been a dive into the inner workings of trauma, and it has included anger, fear, isolation, hypervigilance, paranoia and exhaustion. In the body it included pain in my left shoulder, neck and jaw tension and feeling physically overwhelmed.
As with anything I met this trauma with my yoga and meditation practice. The practice of mindfulness helped me get outside of circular thinking that can keep me trapped. When I was aware I was stuck in thinking that was exacerbating fear I would look around me and see what else was happening. I enjoyed looking at trees and nature as an anchor for myself when I felt I was leaving the moment through thinking about the trauma that was over or the “what if…” questions about the future.
During the acute phase of the trauma I was not practicing the physical poses of yoga, the asanas, but I did receive physical touch through cranial sacral therapy, massage and somatics bodywork. This safe and compassionate touch helped me reground into my body and allowed my body to release some of what it was holding onto. Baths and naps were also important parts of my physical self-care.
Mentally, I relied on guided yoga nidra meditations that focused on calming the nervous system because when I came to my cushion on my own my mind would start spinning. When I listened to a meditation I was able to have more focus, and this was another anchor for me to rely on.
On Friday, March 11 I am looking forward to offering the next monthly 2-hour workshop on yoga therapy for a particular challenge. This month’s focus will be trauma.
If you feel overwhelmed by the effects of trauma, are having a hard time quieting the body or mind or want support with the fear, anger and isolation that can come with healing from trauma go here to learn more and register for the Friday, March 11 workshop (or look ahead at other topics we will cover in the next few months). If the workshop does not work for you or you want support for your individual and unique experience contact me for a complimentary 20-minute phone consultation to see if yoga therapy may be a good fit for you.
With love and compassion,