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A Lived Experience: How Yoga Asanas Can Touch Old Wounds—& Also Help Them Heal.

A Lived Experience: How Yoga Asanas Can Touch Old Wounds—& Also Help Them Heal.

Panic, grief, despair, and anger: today’s emotions in Prasārita Pādottānāsana C (wide legged forward bend) and in kūrmāsana (turtle).

My breath is short and shallow. I feel trapped, and I start to sweat.

Immediately, I want to get out of the posture, out of my body. Feeling deeply uncomfortable in my own skin.

A harmful past situation flashes in front of my inner eye. First an image, then suppression, followed by a familiar train of thought in my mind: it’s probably just imagination; it probably wasn’t as nearly as bad; you’re making this up.

After some dissection and awareness, I figured, this is not my voice but of other people who probably didn’t know better when I opened up to them.

However, the body knows, and those two yoga postures in my personal Ashtanga practice hold a key for me, which can unlock unknown potential and healing—but first discomfort.

I decided to confide in my yoga teacher and shared those inner workings with her. The answer was: feel into it, if you can.

Feeling into something that seems unbearable to hold? Don’t think so—so my first response. Despite my initial fear of turning this key, I decided to allow myself to pay attention to what was going on inside of me and replaced fear with curiosity. So, I made this conscious move into the unknown. I turned the key, and what I discovered there was vast loneliness.

So, I figured that what is said about trauma by Gabor Maté and other professionals seems to be true. It’s often not about what happened; it’s more about the lack of resources to hinder the experiences to rip into us as deeply.

And it’s the loneliness, feelings of separation from the collective well-being and the emotional isolation, which is to some people the most hurtful aspect. The event has happened; physically we don’t stay in that moment in time. But the moment can stay within us, stored in our nervous system, muscles, joints, and organs.

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