The environment of the yoga class is particularly ripe for trauma triggering because of its inherently intimate nature, arising out of the integration of mind and body and the teacher's position as a leader and spiritual or physical authority, and the fact that trauma can be held in the body.
Yoga helped awaken those early latent lessons and now, coupled with my medical skills, I could help the less fortunate. This provided me with an optimal vehicle to exercise my karma yoga in the world.
Practicing yoga has changed me, made me calmer, less anxious, more equanimous. It's given me a physiological way to deal with trauma that was otherwise unavailable to me, and as a teacher, I now have some tools that I can share with others who've experienced trauma.
As we struggled to make sense of hundreds of statistics and research studies on recidivism, gun violence, homicide, suicide and juvenile justice, one clear, simple concept emerged: We know what to do. We just need the will to do it. Where does this will come from?
Without a consensus on morality and acceptable behavior, we're living in extremely confusing times, where sex roles and gender identities fall somewhere between blurred and non-existent, androgyny is sexy, and we're constantly receiving mixed messages.
"The emotional connection for yoga service is the human connection. Sharing yoga is another way of saying "I love you" to total strangers. We're using our bodies to find that common ground and language of love, and nothing is lost in translation."
For me retirement means giving up. Half a life. The past dominates and the future is lifeless. UNLESS, you take on a new project, something you've never done before. Something that stimulates you mentally and physically. Dancing (ballroom), Swing, Latin, Tango, language (foreign), art, musical instrument, Yoga (any level), cooking.
By letting go of harmful desire, I got more of the physical depth that I'd wanted before, yet the shapes of the poses barely mattered now. What did matter was how good it felt to just be with what is and let go of what isn't.
The numbers of asthma attacks and allergies continue to rise, which shows that these medications are just a Band-Aid for a larger problem. They aren't targeting the root cause of asthma and allergies: inflammation.
On almost every list of cool yoga accessories I've ever read, I pretty much see the same stuff. Don't get me wrong, it's good stuff. Tried and true and definitely worth checking out. Surely there are things equally awesome that are hogging less of the spotlight, right?
I see so clearly now how a sense of community is perhaps what we now need more than ever, as more of our time is spent plugged into some technological device or other and the world seems more unstable than ever.
I had the opportunity to interview Maren and Jamie Showkeir, authors of Yoga Wisdom at Work, an amazing new book about integrating the wisdom of yoga on the job. Here are some insights to using yoga principles beyond the mat and into your world.
"Taking responsibility for one's health and future is the most important part of one's own healing process. I practice this myself, and encourage students to do the same. It's not something the medical profession can give to us; it is something we have to create and maintain for ourselves."
Yoga Teachers will sink or swim together. The sooner we figure out a sustainable win-win business model regarding how to freely share the benefits of this rich tradition, the sooner we will all prosper. Ommmmmmmmmmm.
For reasons I could not explain in 10,000 words or less, I moved to a small town on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, for three months or more, to determine how I begin with all of this that has happened, and to wait for this story of the pain in my neck to resolve.
When I signed up for yoga teacher training, I knew benefits would come from it. I would get stronger and more flexible. I would make new friends, gain a better understanding of yoga and eventually be equipped to lead a class. But I had no idea how much happier it would make me.