Click on link below for full article:
Over time, I’ve observed that people differ in their beliefs about the potential for healing. Some seem to believe the potential for healing is fixed or limited. Or in other words, once you’re broken, recovery is an uphill battle through a dimly lit tunnel. If you heal, it will only be to a point. Others believe that complete healing is within reach and can be improved by applying more effort and showing up.
Admittedly, I was the latter, with a longing to become the former because I was tired of trying. I read the books, had coffee with those who had unparalleled measures of hope, adhered to treatment plans, and got the motivational tattoo. I was still a woman haunted by her trauma.
One of the coffee hopefuls invited me to try yoga. I agreed to show up. I felt terribly out of place, but I wasn’t a stranger to discomfort, so I unrolled my mat. Class did not feel life changing, but I liked it. We made it into half-pigeon. Everyone put his or her head down and I just felt my left hand clench to a fist. With my right hand, I fidgeted with my hair tie. I noticed the instructor giving assists and I was uncomfortable with the idea of her assisting me in this posture. My mind began to wander to unfamiliar neighborhoods - neighborhoods where healing was limited; neighborhoods where recovery is an uphill battle through a dimly lit tunnel; neighborhoods where I am irreparable and different. I just wanted the opportunity to say, “No, thanks.” without feeling different.
While I enjoyed most of class, I felt discouraged by the neighborhoods, the tension, and the idea that I might always feel different because of my trauma. So I stopped going. Just kidding – despite my (lack of) enthusiasm about my optimism, I am that person who believes full healing is possible. So I kept showing up. And the feelings didn’t go away. And the solution wasn’t clear. But there was something captivating about yoga that reinforced my optimism. It had this element of healing to it. And I had the suspicion that it could be not just a healing element, but a healing practice. Get it? Not just partial healing, but healing in full. I wanted to continue to wrestle with that. I wanted to continue to hope for that. So I agreed to keep showing up.
Several years later, my mom sent me a link to Enso’s “Teaching Public Yoga Classes Through a Trauma-Informed Lens” workshop. Accompanied by curiosity and reserved expectation, I attended. My palms sweat a bit. I listened; I cogitated; I sipped my water. I squeezed my knees into my chest. I nodded my head and I accepted that my solution had arrived. The concepts covered and points made in this workshop have the potential to make yoga an instrument of change for those with trauma. Through affirmative consent and a number of other recommendations, the idea that you’re different becomes obsolete. A healing practice is within reach. Sometimes that is hard to accept. Sometimes when you’ve experienced something as harrowing and unnatural as trauma, it is scary to believe something could really offer moments of wholeness. But it can. So, for those who teach students who are trudging uphill, embrace this unique opportunity to introduce this healing practice. And for those who are stuck in the dimly lit tunnel, keep showing up. Sometimes your seemingly naïve optimism or just the act of showing up introduces you to something as powerful as trauma-informed lens yoga – something that will confirm that your healing is not limited.
Click to read article, www.phillyareayoga.com/permission-stones/