“The body locks our traumas inside and archives them for future discovery and, hopefully, healing. Each trauma needs to be unraveled and eased, the scars opened, massaged, and broken down. The body can become like a tree that’s root-bound and dying; the roots need to be very gently pulled apart, not just hacked off. That’s the healing role of Yoga. And that’s what began to happen for me.” ~Ana T. Forrest
This is the grace that yoga has brought into my life. It’s that gentle unraveling and easing of the traumas located in the body that first hooked me on yoga. It’s that gentle pulling apart of my roots that have become so bound and cramped that keeps me coming back to the mat. These past few intensive months in yoga training have helped accelerate some of that healing to ease the root-bound nature of this tree-woman so that life can blossom again.
I had dinner tonight with a friend whom I have not seen in a while. We spent several hours catching up with all that has happened in our lives over the time we have not been in touch and sharing our plans for the future. For me, this involved a lot of talking about yoga, and I found myself struggling to put into words what yoga has meant to me during this time of such struggle and change and the role I envision it playing in my future.
Having been trained as a scientist, I have an over-active “woo-woo” meter in my brain that is always assessing any statement (particularly those that involve healing and/or spirituality) for any signs of un-provability. Even though I know deeply (in a grok kind of way) the impact that yoga has had on my own life and have no doubt of its ability to heal and transform, I am always aware of how difficult it is to express this reality in words in a way that doesn’t sound hokey or too good to be true.
In our culture the idea of our issues being our tissues (as one of my instructors used to say) is a foreign concept. We are intellectual people, living in our minds. We don’t have room for the idea of emotional or psychological healing happening in our bodies.
And yet, this concept is so closely related to that described by the shaman with whom I worked. Although she talked more explicitly in terms of our energy fields and working with energy techniques, the idea that old traumas are stuck in places that can be cleared with an intellectual understanding of the cause is very much the same. Either way, I am working energetically to clear blockages that are keeping energy from flowing properly. I may do that through physical postures with yoga or through energy techniques with energy medicine, but they all come down to healing the mind-body-spirit without a focus on the mind part of the equation.
This is so different from anything else I have experienced or been taught in this culture that it seems hard to believe it can be true. However, the scientist in me has seen the evidence in my own life, and I know it to be true. As a go out to teach and use yoga for healing, I need to find better ways to convey this truth to those who have not tried it so I can convince people to give this a chance in their own lives to see if it works for them.
As I struggle still to find my own words, it is such a delight to find the words of others expressing the concepts I am trying to share in their own words and finding that my experience fits right in with that of others. It reassures me that the treasure I have found for myself is something that will be healing to others as well, and I can’t wait to share it!
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