Easing this root-bound tree

“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!

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.

2 thoughts on “Easing this root-bound tree

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I especially resonate with your scientist statement – I have also been trained as a scientist and yet received tremendous healing through Jungian psychotherapy, which to many people (and that scientific part of myself) thinks sounds kind of cheesy. I am currently in the midst of my own transformation in changing careers from being an environmental scientist to becoming a spiritual caregiver – a difficult transition indeed! Your blog has been very inspiring and I appreciate your thoughts and honesty.

    Don’t stop!

    • Eric, thanks so much for your comment! It’s encouraging to hear from another scientist-type who is facing a similar challenge. It’s always good to know that I’m not alone. 🙂
      I’m very glad to hear that my words have been of benefit to you. Thanks for reading and commenting!
      I wish you all the best on your own journey of transformation to becoming a spiritual caregiver. It sounds like an exciting, yet challenging, transition. Many blessings to you!

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