Yogic Healing of Childhood Trauma

Screaming and shouting at the top of their lungs, then crying and falling to the carpeted floor pounding it with the bare fists again and again, sobbing or silently retreating to a corner of the yoga studio looked like entering a nut house to the newbie and uninitiated.

In 1988 I took my first hatha yoga class. I was intrigued by the word ‘yoga’ itself. Though Joerg Miller, the instructor, explained what was meant by yoga, I did not understand. As for the postures, I had never before attempted anything like these. I had no idea that I could twist and turn my body in such a way. I stayed with Joerg for three years who taught me a combination of hatha yoga as well as Osho’s emotional release techniques working with muscle memories. Our muscles are a storehouse of all our memories which can be accessed through certain techniques.

One such technique was to work in pairs; one standing up being the giver, the other kneeling in front of the giver and begging, asking for something. We were to watch our feelings and thoughts while doing this. A similar technique was walking through the room with closed eyes imagining that one had entered a gorge. The path then became more and more narrow where one could not walk tall anymore so that eventually everyone was crawling forward on hands and feet experiencing the tightness of the mountain walls around the body. Part of the experiential process was getting to the point of being stuck, no where to move and nowhere to go inquiring within, ‘is there a way out, how do I feel about it, why am I crying or screaming and what memory resurfaces’?

At the end of one of the sessions, a yoga student talked about the fact that she never liked bananas. Even the smell of bananas disgusted her. She later found out that her brothers had chased her as a little girl with a banana in their hands and used it as a weapon. She relived the scene to relieve the emotional suffering.

At other times Joerg had us hold the yoga postures for an extended period of time with arms and legs shaking releasing emotions and visual images from our muscle memory. There was lots of crying, screaming, groaning and moaning in the room, reliving to release, release, release.

It was during this time that bits and pieces of my childhood sexual abuse started resurfacing. It was the first time I ever knew that ‘something happened’. Until this point I often wondered why I did not have a relationship with my stepfather. The puzzle pieces of abuse did not make any sense to me at first. I did not understand what it all meant. The more the pieces of this puzzle surfaced I was able to get a clearer picture of what had happened and what I experienced. It was relieving to have memories that cause suffering come to the surface but I found that alone was not enough. Simple awareness was created but what was I to do now with this information? Did I even need to do anything with it? Is the suffering going to go away now? How is it overall affecting me? Many questions came up that I had never voiced out loud. Perhaps the yoga teacher would have known an answer or two, or perhaps his wife who had studied psychology. Awareness was created and that was a step to healing. Yet I was not sure if I needed anything else.

It is 2016. Looking back at those yoga happenings in 1988, I know feel healed. Awareness and acceptance, yes, it happened, brought healing.

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If you suspect or know that abusive childhood events still negatively impact your adult life, you may consider Transformational Life Coaching to learn a process to remove your in-authenticity and become whole again, and how to release pain patterns on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. Go here to find out more.

(C) Udaysree Nithyananda. All rights reserved.

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