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NYC-20130712
Perhaps I’ve been slow with the “how to practice when triggered” piece because it’s something I’m still working on myself. I cannot guide this, only share my experience. It hovers in unsafe territory.

It’s become fashionable for yogis who are upset with their lives to put out diatribes that announce the writer’s own sizable issues momentarily, while the bulk of the piece tears down their teachers, style of practice, and community.

To this I say, “Shut up.” “Yeah, I have issues” should not be followed by a “but.” “Yeah, I have issues” means, “Yeah, I don’t see very clearly.” It should be followed by a profound self-examination with the best help you can find, not a public broadside of others’ faults.

This is one reason I stall. When I do write about my practice here, I worry that people could take it as a statement about my teachers, past or present. That’s fine if you think, “Her teachers must be awesome.” It’s not fine if you judge them poorly. This is not about my teachers. I’ve looked over 20 years for teachers and those I practice with now are among the best in the world (wanky statement, but true). I trust them as much as I am capable of trusting, and if I didn’t, it would be my responsibility to leave and go elsewhere. I do not think they are perfect or infallibleit would be a problem if I did. Allowing space for others’ humanity (ie our teachers are not gods) is an important part of meeting reality. But that is not what this is about.

It’s about practicing when triggered.

If you want to practice as a trauma survivor in a space not designated as such, you have to figure out how to deal with that. You will be triggered. I am working on it, and though it won’t be obvious from this piece, I’ve come a long way.

Sometimes it’s minor, and I can practice through it and calm myself down with breath. Those are days the shala is not so crowded, or someone I find soothing is practicing near me. Today was not one of those days.

I haven’t figured out how to cope when it’s crowded, which means maybe 6-8 inches between mats. I try to time it so that I’m there when it’s not packed, but this is not always predictable, and part of me feels like I should be able to do it. Today was not even half full when I arrived, and I was relieved. But then, at the end of my sun salutations, Teacher asked us to move over and make room for one more.

One more was daddy long limbs.

Some people are extremely considerate in their practice. They leave fair berth between their body parts and those around them, by taking arms straight up instead of out to the sides, for example. Others don’t. In fact, to be fair, that’s part of the practice culture.

“Most in that room have been through primary series 1,000 times at least, and if SKPJ was right, that’s enough to give up…minding the 6 extra limbs on your mat as if they were other from your own.” (InsideOwl).

This is in no way an indictment of Owl, whose writing and being I adore. It’s just a perfect example of the “we are all one/you are territorial if you need space” yoga discourse. The glorification NYC-20121029of non-separateness in yoga and meditation scenes has long struck me as problematic because many people lack safe boundaries. While touching base with our non-separateness on a regular basis is in some ways the crux of a spiritual practice, in reality, we cycle through many states during practice, non-separateness being only one of them. We absolutely need healthy boundaries to thrive.

This is especially so for trauma survivors. Let’s say, hypothetically, you were abused as a small child. You would have learned very, very early (before your mind had learned full separateness, in fact) that your body was not your own, and you had no ability to keep the limbs of another from violating it. Extra limbs on your mat, or worse, one coming toward you from the periphery, incite a terror and rage far, far beyond some individualistic, territorial grab for space. But because a “separateness trip” is against the rules of the practice, you are in a real pickle.

This is not limited to ashtanga. It runs through the yoga culture at large. I’m not suggesting we change the culture. It is what it is. We should be aware, though.

I probably just shouldn’t practice when it’s crowded. But some days it’s okay. And I want to. I want to think I can do it by now, after all this time.

I’ve never told my teacher that I’m a trauma survivor. I’ve only practiced there not quite 1½ yrs, and I’m still afraid. The few previous times I’m mentioned it to a teacher (always meditation), I was met with a condescending smile and dismissive nod. They didn’t get it and didn’t careI was just another person with another acronymed issue looking for special care. This wouldn’t be my teacher’s reaction now, but also, I just don’t want to be labeled in this way. I want to be like everyone else.

So, in comes daddy long limbs. Pretty much every time I am triggered in practice, it is from bodies flailing above me or in the periphery, made worse by my lack of depth perception. He’s practiced next to me before and I made a note to avoid in the future. But in he came. So now I was wedged between him and a girl I’d practiced near before and liked well enough. I hoped she’d provide energetic comfort, and continued my last salutation.

By padahastasana (moments later), I’d already been triggered by his limbs moving in my near periphery. It wasn’t his fault and in those first moments I knew that, before trigger-mind took over.

By prasarita padottanasana I wondered if I could leave without anyone noticing and just finish, and calm myself, at home. But I hoped I could calm myself there and didn’t want to look like an asshole. By utthita hasta padangusthasana, the girl next to me dropped her towel on the mid-front of my mat, right where my right foot belonged. Ordinarily I could ignore it pretty well, but triggered, I could not. She picked it up, used it, and set it back down even more expansively in the mid-front of my mat. Then a third time.

Sometimes I can ignore these type things and not interpret them as excessively aggressive. I am sure I unwittingly make these same transgressions, though consciously I try like mad to keep my shit to myself. When I am triggered, I cannot. In fact, I cannot feel my body, and have only the slightest influence over my breath, though this has improved over time. When I am triggered, my separate mind takes over and tries to make up for the boundaries transgressed.

Why the fuck did she need to place her towel on top of me when she could easily have placed it in the two feet of empty space in front of us? I’d have loved to throw it onto the middle of her mat. A year ago, I might have. The reason I didn’t was not noble but because I knew full well that I would punish myself for a month or more, fantasizing about who saw and how harshly they judged me.

Then I imagined, with some envy, just how entitled this person must feel to throw her sweaty dregs on top of me. Not once, but three times. This is just the type of behavior our culture rewards. Ah, the lucky ones.

By now I was in dandasana and my mind had completely filled with this rageful, delusive chatter. She was getting an assist from a teacher. In his presence she set it not on my mat but in the space between us, creeping only a few centimeters onto my mat and fingers. I flicked it away with my hand.

What a cunt.

At this point the idea of leaving the shala had totally fled my mind. It would have been time. I did find the momentary clarity to deepen my breath and try to slow down. My practice speeds when I’m triggered and I just try to get through it. But by triang mukha eka pada paschimottanasana I slowed and tried to feel my body. I noticed my desire for help, my wondering if someone would help me, and even briefly flirted with the possibility I could ask for help. These had flitted faintly amongst my rageful thoughts and gained ground with breath.

I sped up again. I couldn’t ask for help. It was crowded. They were busy. If he didn’t react in exactly the right way (whatever that was, I have no idea) I would be devastated far, far beyond the damage of being triggered the rest of practice and working through it myself.

By janu sirsasana, I tried to slow and feel again. I usually find these poses soothing, with plenty of sensation to explore. I lengthened my breath and could feel a bit. Then fast, the terror that my rage presses back broke over me. I teared. No way. I couldn’t do it. The teachers I know best, the ones most likely to notice I was amok, weren’t there. I couldn’t break open in the middle of this crowd. Lord knows what would come up. Not an option. I sped up again, even faster.

I gave myself over to the rage again, and felt it smash back my terror and grief with no effort at all. 01-NYC-20100420It produced violent thoughts and I watched them, entertained them even (should I admit it?), relieved that they came to the surface, freed from the recesses of my psyche where ego keeps them chained, turned outward instead of in. I went faster.

Soothing poses I gave 5 short breaths, difficult poses or those requiring space, 3. I moved at five times my usual snail’s pace and kept my eyes shut as much as possible. By dhanurasana, I thought I might burst again. I didn’t. Urdhva dhanurasana. Standing, waiting, feeling my heart pound madly against my ribs, I felt my shoulders hunched forward, turtling me inward even after backbends. Shame. Then a soft touch on my back and my teacher’s gentle presence. Gentle. Kind.

A miracle. Not his bearing but my read of it. A first. Always before, each time I was triggered, this time by far the worst, or maybe just the most consciously felt, I projected judgement and anger onto my teachers, felt it coming from them in tight bursts. Not today. There is a fragment of hope.

Closing sequence. No room to move forward. New neighbors, more space. I stayed. These poses calm me and I take my time in them, usually and today, hoping to steady my heart. A quick shavasana and chant.

I rolled my mat. The back near the restrooms was crowded. I was a bit damp with sweat, but could not wait to change. I had to get out into space. I stuffed my jeans into my bag. The zipper broke, slowed me down, I fumbled with it. Grabbed my coat and shoes, my teacher at the desk behind me now. Did he sense my energy? See my body quaking? I hoped not and so.

The street! Tears. Sunshine. I walked long to the water, street blocked by the construction of another crass new sky rise luxury apartment complex. Turned north and then west again. Walked, cried, still numb but relieved, wanting the ocean but letting the river soothe me instead.

i felt like i could

comic by Daryl Seitchik

First, a massive thank you to Daryl Seitchik, whose work I use liberally to dress up these pages. I commissioned the NOW illustration, but she’s been kind enough to let me use her comics all over the blog. This one, from the Missy strips in which she, as a girl, writes to her diary called Missy, is, well, perfect. I have no words for how much I love it, how close it hits. It lives on my fridge. Even Nasreddin kept the copy I offered and he never takes anything.

When I need some visuals for a post, I find something beyond perfect on her tumblr, saying something similar, better and more poignantly than my words.

If you love Daryl’s work even a fraction as much as I do (some have told me you do), you can support her by ordering her comics at her etsy store or at Oily Comics. “I felt like I could vomite” is page 1 of Missy 2. They are wildly inexpensive ($5), and there are no words for how motivating this sort of simple support can be. And subscribe to her tumblr.

DM-03Where was I last time?

I don’t recall. I’m a bit trapped in wondering why I do this, if people actually get what I’m saying here. I don’t spend much time in the social interwebs, but the little I do furls up my face as mind groans, “What the hell are these people talking about? What is this ‘yoga culture’ you speak of? It bears no resemblance to my practice, my teaching, my teachers, my students, my experience, my own personal maya. With all this time online, when do you practice, teach, live? What are you even talking about?”

One of the best things I ever did for my psychological health was back in the mid-90s. I stopped looking at fashion magazines. As I’ve never gone in for TV or movies, it was a final cut from big media. A divorce from the soul-killing subliminal commands on how to be. Media aims to make you feel bad so you will be desperate enough to buy what they sell, which is far more than the color of fingernails au courant. It is a way of being. A disconnected, self-denying, self-doubting way of being. A “lifestyle.” Awesome?

DM-04Something doesn’t match up. It never has really, the reality we’re sold and the reality we inhabit. I guess for some of us that breach is so wide we choose to concentrate on the one most tangible and welcoming, though it’s a mighty clash when we inevitably have to bang up against the capital world (cattle-call yoga-teacher audition anyone?).

To counter that, a few years ago a friend told me I needed to put testimonials on my site. We both found them cheesy and markety, but she insisted that many people put great stock in them and they’re essential. So I created the page on 12/17/2011.

It then sat empty until last weekend when I asked some students if they would write one. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the results shifted something for me. I know that my students appreciate me, but it’s become so difficult to get teaching jobs in the current yoga market, DM-05with the cattle-call auditions, bullshit studio politics, kool-aid drinking and idiotic teaching practices, that on bad days I believe I’ve taught mainly in an underground university gym for over a decade because I’m not good enough for better.

That belief had nothing to do with my wonderful students or colleagues (in some ways university people are my people), but with the difficulties of making ends meet as a full time yoga teacher. But when the testimonials started pouring in, I quieted, their heartfelt beauty not so easy for me to take in.

They get it. There is some purpose in my teaching (I know this, usually. But when faced with rejection or just making rent, I don’t always know it). They get it more deeply than I could have imagined.

DM-06So maybe you do too. I don’t know.

This writing is harder than the teaching. No one is expecting me, no one softening her breath under the warmth of my hands, laughing at the 17th time I confuse left for right. I’m less sure it matters, less convinced that the words aren’t better spent in epic emails to Z, or in my own unnamed Missy. I’ve never fancied myself a writer or identified as such. There’s just something that eats at me if I don’t do it.

What do you make of this? Is it all too personal? Too irrelevant? Or do the three or four people who insist I have to do it, that it matters, that it helps them, have a point? I don’t know.

DM-07Daryl’s comic pins down the thing about writing (and art, practice, awareness and life). Once Missy knows, once it’s made conscious, once you are brutally honest with yourself and the nausea has passed, it doesn’t matter who else does. Everyone always kind of knows the truth anyway. We only lie to ourselves.

If you’ve ever wondered about what kind of teacher I am, what my students think of my teaching, check out the testimonials. They are pretty rad, all by pretty amazing people. Thank you so much for them, all. (Yes, there are a lot. I got back more than expected and didn’t see fit to cut any.)

Again, comic genius by Daryl Seitchik. Subscribe to her tumblr or get her stuff.

on teaching yoga to the anxious or traumatized. and for practitioners, too.

Forget what I said last time. I spent all day in the human room. We are all traumatized.

I loved the Time Out New York cover a few weeks ago that read: “Are we anxious because we’re New Yorkers or are we New Yorkers because we’re anxious?” because it’s something I’ve long considered. New York City is the only place I’ve ever felt at home, and the reason may be that the pace is in line with my nervous system’s baseline. Relaxing (or trying to) once made me nervous. This is true for a large number of New Yorkers and a fair number of my students.

I do not know much about anxiety as it exists apart from trauma, but I have wondered a bit if there’s some sort of spectrum of trauma we inhabit in the post-postmodern age. When I sat down to write this post, I websearched it. Low and behold, there’s a book: The Trauma Spectrum: Hidden Wounds and Human Resiliency. It looks like it could be good.

I am kidding and I’m not. There is a lot of anxiety out there, and many, many yoga students exhibit strong symptoms of trauma survival. Or is it just anxiety? In some ways, it doesn’t matter. Recently, wanting a break from all the trauma books and to remind myself that everyone suffers (constantly viewing life through the lens of trauma is irritating, I agree), I read Olivia Laing’s The Trip to Echo Spring, about six alcoholic American writers. But gawd, it was no break. They all exhibited major symptoms of trauma survival. If you doubt my objectivity, by page 38, Laing makes the same observation. This had me thinking about art and creativity as healing or distraction. Screw yoga already.

Is it post-trauma or is it anxiety? It doesn’t matter (in my opinion of the moment) but for this: trauma survivors are apt to be triggered into sympathetic nervous system hyperarousal, aka fight/flight/freeze, and if you are, it’s important to know it. If you don’t, you may just experience triggering as profound irritation, which is extremely frustrating to navigate when it can’t be OM’ed or CBT’ed away.

humanRoom03Teaching yoga to a group of trauma survivors can be easier than teaching survivors in general population classes. In a class of survivors, we know what is going on. The issues are front and center and we work with them as best we can. It’s not easy, but it is spoken, it is on the table, and everyone there knows we are in the company of other survivors. This helps to create a space where the work of healing trauma, via deep, patient attention to body, breath, and mind, can occur.

In classes for the general population, this is not the case. A year ago I read a series of posts on HuffPo that demanded all yoga teachers be trained to tailor their classes to suit the needs of trauma survivors lest a student be triggered.

As a yoga teacher and trauma survivor, I find this ridiculous. While I agree that there are many trauma survivors in general yoga classes and basic information on trauma would be a helpful addition to trainings 1) most yoga teacher trainings are worthless and 2) the idea that not touching humanRoom04people, or asking to touch in a certain voice, or not using straps in case it triggers a bound trauma for someone, or ad nauseum, ignores the critical fact that pretty much anything can potentially trigger a trauma survivor. A red shirt. A certain song. A whiff of patchouli. Getting assistance. Not getting assistance. Doing a pose. Not doing a pose. Physical exertion. A fleeting shadow. A strong breeze.

Peter Levine explains in his book In An Unspoken Voice:

Consider your response to the fleeting shadow, the subtle gesture of another person or a distant sound. Each of these events can invoke in us survival-bound responses without our ever being aware that something in our environment has triggered them. Notably, when we have been traumatized, we are particularly sensitized to (and hyperaroused by) these fleeting stimuli. Our senses of seeing, hearing and smell provide countless stimuli that cause us to overreact, humanRoom05even though we may be unaware of the presence of those subliminal stimuli, and our premotor responses to them. (p 319.)

If a yoga class is not specifically geared to trauma survivors, the endless possible modifications quickly becomes ridiculous. It also caters to the self-victimization of survivors, which is unhelpful (not to be confused with the original victimization, which is another issue).

We need to remember that yoga teachers are not psychologists, healers, or our Mommies. Yoga is not a panacea, and the average Rihanna-blaring, handstandy, love-and-lighty yoga class is not where a trauma survivor should look to heal unless she’s going to take innumerable factors into her own hands. We cannot walk into a room and expect everyone to change their teaching methods, much less ways of being, to meet our needs. It’s neither helpful or acceptable. Do you really want everyone to tiptoe around you? I don’t.humanRoom06

Let’s be honest. We trauma survivors are a highly annoying population. As students, we often need a lot of attention. Or we (pretend we) want none. We have no boundaries. We come early or late, dawdle after, monopolize the teacher’s time, and make weird, disturbing noises in class (and I don’t mean the occasional whimper or grunt). If we have boundaries, we are Fort Knox. We need space. We complain (yes, even after yoga. wt??). We dislike the conditions of the room. It is too hot. Too cold. Too loud. Too breezy. Too crowded. Too smelly. Too dirty. Too chatty. Too early. Too late. We are moody and we project those moods on our teachers’ and fellow students’ behavior toward us. We do not make enough money to pay and if we make plenty we still whinge about it. We snarl that we “know our bodies” when truly we are violently dissociated from them and do not. We are massive control freaks—about our bodies, our practice, and everything else. humanRoom07Our issues are boundless. They are also disruptive to the class and other students.

If you think that the average yoga teacher is equipped to handle this energy because he is spiritual and wants to help, you are wildly incorrect. If you believe it is his or her ethical responsibility to do so, you are incorrect again. These issues are difficult for long-trained therapists to handle. That you expect it from a twenty-something who wants to help you blossom after his month of “transformative” teacher training? Lordy. Reevaluate.

Yes, it sucks. It does seem that we are the ones always having to reevaluate. We didn’t ask to be traumatized or triggered or have our bodies and being turn against us.

But if we can drop the self-pitying victim bullshit, this subtle suggestion that everyone owes us something because we were traumatized and feel we have nothing, reevaluation empowers. I want to underline that 500 times. humanRoom08Did you get it? Reevaluate and take responsibility for your behavior now, even if it was triggered by inconceivably unfair events of your past for which you bear no responsibility. That at your core, you believe you were responsible and hate yourself for it is another matter that, yes, does get in the way of everything. Still try.

So, how to do yoga as a trauma survivor if you don’t have or want classes designated as such? More on that next time (preview: observing your triggered state must become part of your practice). Also to come is a bit on kinds of emotion, pseudo-emotion, too much emotion, i.e. what I mean when I talk about emotion. Also maybe some stuff on creativity, but who knows.

humanRoom07

humanRoom10

Comic by Daryl Seitchik. Check out her tumblr. It is great.

coccoyoga name change coming soon

There’s a name & domain change coming soon, so if you subscribe by rss you will need to update your feed. If you are subscribed by email, you’re automatically taken care of. The next post (written but not yet edited) will be up at popomoyoga.com (yoga for post-postmodern life). CoccoYoga will forward there, but for a few days when the domain name transfers.

I’ve tumbled into writing a long bit that needs more clarification. I may break them up into a series once entirely written instead of posting as I write a 1000 words or so. Til then, enjoy the sunshine. ~A

quiz: wait. am i a traumatized yogi?

There’s been a lot of talk about yoga and trauma of late (especially here). It may beg the question: “Wait. I think and act like this sometimes. I’m not traumatized.”

“Am I?”

Some argue that everyone is traumatized in the post-post-modern era. While we certainly live in an age of anxiety (Kali Yuga for sure), and anxiety sufferers may experience life in similar ways, not everyone has been traumatized. Trauma is not an abstraction or a dramatic manner of describing experience.

Clinically, trauma survivors suffer from PTSD, survivors of repeated trauma (e.g. child abuse) CPTSD, Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I avoid these labels as I find them unhelpful. They flatten human experience and elicit cliché. They are, however, extremely accurate regarding the symptoms and experiences of trauma survivors. If you are curious, Judith Herman’s beautiful Trauma and Recovery is the book to read:

At the moment of trauma, the victim is rendered helpless by overwhelming force…. Traumatic events overwhelm the ordinary systems of care that give people a sense of control, connection, and meaning.

Traumatic events are extraordinary, not because they occur rarely, but rather because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life. Unlike commonplace misfortunes, traumatic events generally involve threats to life or bodily integrity, or a close personal encounter with violence or death. They confront human beings with the extremities of helplessness and terror, and evoke the responses of catastrophe. According to the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, the common denominator of psychological trauma is a feeling of ‘intense fear, helplessness, loss of control, and threat of annihilation.’

The ordinary human response to danger is a complex, integrated system of reactions, encompassing both body and mind. Threat initially arouses the sympathetic nervous system, causing the person in danger to feel an adrenaline rush and go into a state of alert…. Finally, threat evokes intense feelings of fear and anger. These changes in arousal, attention, perception, and emotion are normal, adaptive reactions. They mobilize the threatened person for strenuous action, either in battle or in flight.

Traumatic reactions occur when action is of no avail. When neither resistance nor escape is possible, the human system of self-defense becomes overwhelmed and disorganized. Each component of the ordinary response to danger, having lost its utility, tends to persist in an altered and exaggerated state long after the danger is over. Traumatic events produce profound and lasting changes in physiological arousal, emotion, cognition, and memory. Moreover, traumatic events may sever these normally integrated functions from one another. The traumatized person may experience intense emotion but without clear memory of the event, or may remember everything in detail but without emotion. She may find herself in a constant state of vigilance and irritability without knowing why. Traumatic symptoms have a tendency to become disconnected from their source and take on a life of their own. pp 33-34.

The worst fear of any traumatized person is that the moment of horror will recur, and this fear is realized in victims of chronic abuse. Not surprisingly, the repetition of trauma amplifies all the hyperarousal symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. p 86.

Unprocessed feelings of intense anger and fear become locked into the body and unconscious mind, waiting for release, easily triggered by sights and sounds that would not phase someone with a relaxed nervous system. Peter Levine’s In an Unspoken Voice offers a remarkable explanation from a medical perspective. He explains why and how trauma becomes frozen in the body, and what to do about it. Another must read.

Avoid most common internet literature, usually about veterans, often asking why some people suffer shell shock (the WWI appellation) and others don’t. C/PTSD is the normal human biological reaction to devastating events that cannot be integrated into a person’s larger experience often due to the level of horror, as well as a lack of understanding, empathy and support. Herman underlines the social complications of trauma recovery, which we’ve seen much of in the media lately, e.g. victim blaming in rape cases. “It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering” (Trauma and Recovery, p 7).

Since I began writing about yoga and trauma, several students, colleagues, and friends have come out to me as trauma survivors. As Herman says, trauma is not rare. Nor is it imagined. Survivors have many biological markers that identify them (low heart rate variability, HRV, among others). It has raised a lot of questions for me about yoga and trauma, teaching survivors in designated classes and out, in classes for the general population. (More on this next time.)

My own yoga practice has often been subsumed by observing my traumatic reactions: fight or flight in asana practice, and freeze (dissociation) in asana and meditation. This only began after years and years of practice, when I finally found enough safety (through a solid, caring relationship) to explore. It was an opening of sorts.

Before when agitated in practice, I just numbed out. A vigorous practice can be good for that, with the endorphins and all. (This, in my honest observations, is how most people practice yoga. Like athletes who force and train the body, rather than being in and of it.) I didn’t experience my anxiety or nerves. It was all on lockdown, deeply repressed. I can pretend nothing bothers me better than most, and when my nervous system is agitated and I feel unsafe, I often do just that. Sometimes, I numb and float upward. It can actually feel pretty good, especially when my muscles go all soft and give up.

But the racing heart and shortness of breath of a challenging practice can also trigger hyperarousal and shift me into fight or flight. I shut down feeling and move faster, trying to break free.

Even when I feel safe and calm, sending breath and awareness into long held parts of my body brings up energy (and emotions and memories) I’m not sure what to do with. It can be scary. One’s own body is not a safe place for trauma survivors. No where is.

This, though, I have to work with and through, because ignoring feeling, shutting down, numbing out, strengthens the ingrained patterns of traumatic reflex. Forever I have fought between maintaining my status quo, which has gotten me through fairly well in some ways, which on some levels I like, and the change healing demands.

None of this is to say that my years of practice before I opened to all all this, when I numbed out and so on, were not beneficial on deeply healing levels, much deeper than, say, running around a track. They certainly were. I do believe it was my practice (yoga and meditation) that got me to a place where I could finally trust someone and begin the baby steps toward feeling and integration. That is the thing. While we’d love a one-step fix, healing these types of wounds requires care and effort from all angles: physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, cognitive, etc.

Thank you for reading :)   Anastasia