Transcending Trauma How Yoga Heals
Reduce the Effects of Traumatic Experiences
Our breathing and movement were effortless when we were children. However, throughout the years, we experienced pain and suffering on a physical and mental level. On a physical plane, we tend to restrict our breathing and store our issues in our tissues, which can cause a range of mental health diseases. As you start practicing yoga and become more aware of your breathing, cultivating more awareness, you can work through traumatic experiences.
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Riding through life’s challenging waves is solely our responsibility. Securing a vital mind and healthy body is purely our responsibility. Unfortunately, no one will and no one can help us find solutions to our challenging life events. We are the only ones who can create order out of chaos, and we’re the only ones who can determine the best solution for our specific challenge. Lacking a vibrant mind and a healthy body will only result in disorientation to our whole being. Imagine that you have a “compass,” but it’s not functioning the way it should. It won’t send you in the direction you want to go. The very same is true of our bodies and minds. If our bodies and minds are in equilibrium, they provide us with intentions and intuitions regarding which way to go in life, the best decisions, and how we can take care of ourselves and the ones around us. We can realign the body with Asanas and Pranayama practices which will eventually help heal our minds. Or we can heal our minds with meditation and Pranayama. It’s generally very hard to start the realignment process with the mind. It’s much easier to start the healing process with the body. As the body gets relaxed and as stored emotions, patterns, and habituations are released, the mind becomes still and present. Out of this vital state, we can ride the waves with ease and joy. Life becomes beautiful.
We would like to create strong foundations for our desired vital body, as we don’t start fixing the house from the roof, but rather from the foundations. The very same concept applies to the Asana. First, we start with grounding exercises which will eventually lead us to the rooftop, also called “yogic bliss.”
On the first level, we’re grounding, which helps create security and self-preservation. We can’t provide security or a sense of trust and generosity if we aren’t grounded. Imagine that we move to a new city without our family or a job. The first thing is to not look around for recreational activities but to secure a place that we can call home, and secure food for ourselves. Securing ourselves on this first level helps us rise above the domination of fear and not to see everything out of a stress response. When we balance our energies on this level, fear and anxiety can disappear, and we realize that we aren’t alone; rather, we’re all together. We no longer feel a sense of separation, but a sense of belonging which helps us unfold further in life. We can also easily overcome patterns which were implemented in ourselves from a young age by our surroundings. These may be feelings you sensed people around you felt or words that were said to you. Some of these are our inner voices, and they sit deeply in our subconscious.
I grew up in a small family in a fairly small town at the end of the time of communism My mom was from an even smaller town, and her mentality involved looking at everything “small.” Just to give you a few examples, she was always making comments like, “I just wish I had a small house” or “I just wish I had a small business.” There you go. The limitation easily sets in, and many times we don’t realize where we’re limiting ourselves and are committing a crime against our nature. I think that if I had grown up with my mom alone, I might have stayed in my hometown in Hungary and had a small family and perhaps everything small.
However, my dad was different in certain ways, and his visions and ideas made me believe that we can be anything we want to be. I was still uncertain about this concept and way of thinking. I had many years of feeling, quite frankly, as if I were using a damaged “compass.” However, not too long after I started practicing yoga, things started to open up. I also started working for Lululemon, which had an amazing library. I used every minute to dwell in the self-improvement blogs and read blogs by Brian Tracy and Eckhardt Tolle, to name a few. I started realizing that we choose our destinies and that the thoughts and habits buried in our minds can be changed. I started seeing that instead of having a small business, I could have a big business; I didn’t have to play it small; I might as well play it big. By no means do I offer this story to indicate that we should be aggravated by or frustrated with our parents. We choose the challenges we’re willing to overcome, and there are always opportunities to grow. If we see inhibiting patterns, the highest way to go is to appreciate them, as they give us a chance to see things from a different perspective. Once we start finding security in ourselves, these limiting patterns can be changed.
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