Updated: Aug 10, 2021
I always thought that yoga and meditation was a bit too alternative for me. Something that people who had an easy-going life would find time to do.
When you’re sorting through piles of chaos to create a new peaceful life, getting in touch with your personal inner peace ends up last on the to-do list. And therein lies the problem!
Sliding my misgivings aside, I decided to give it a go.
Witness yourself learn a new habit
I experienced pleasing improvements in strength and flexibility from stretching and groaning through
the yoga poses. Another interesting outcome was my increasing drift towards spending time on the stabilising, restful practices of Meditation and Mindfulness.
Violent relationships are mind-altering. Our brains are in a permanent state of unhealthy overdrive which can often continue for years after we leave. A clear head is a foreign feeling to a victim of abuse.
We’re cruelly programmed to look after the needs of a selfish, uncompromising abuser and naturally we forget ourselves.
So when things begin to go well, I suspiciously wait for the ‘catch’ that will knock me back to reality. But this is exactly the time when I should be focusing on selfcare, on my own needs and desires to create a new freedom.
Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable
Meditation didn’t make these thoughts go away, but provided a place to safely consider an opposing thought pattern or emotion. Sitting with my feelings allowed space to contemplate an inner desire I once feared.
I was reminded not to get caught up in my own storyline, history and trauma, but instead to be aware of what was happening in the present moment.
Meditation gave my mind a chance to feel wellness without that catch.
We don’t even have to sit in an uncomfortable yoga pose to find a focus on body and breath! I naturally found those moments of peace when working creatively, gardening in the sunshine and pounding rhythmically during a long jog.
A shift in thinking
Mindfulness allows a kind gentleness to become a normal part of life. Slowing down and relaxing is not only ok, it’s essential to survival. The ability to stand solid in the middle a whirlwind helps us make more considered and calm decisions in life.
When old mind patterns of trauma do arise, mindfulness reminds us to detach somewhat, to observe alternative and differing ways to feel and think. It’s letting go of the things that hold us back.
Meditation is escaping the hustle and bustle of a smog filled city. It’s a lingering country drive over
rolling greens hills into tall leafy forests woven with natural babbling streams.
Long-silenced heartfelt desires and hopes can be safely explored on the yoga mat, or any place you find comfort. We can relax into new relationships, homes and lives. Mindfulness and meditation opens the doorway to a harmonious life.
Turns out that stretching both my body and mind can be pretty great after all!
This Blog is a part of the Broken to Brilliant Blogging GEMS program, read other blogs from survivors about mindfulness yoga:
Read more about the Blogging GEMS Program.
Thank you to:
Andrea Bolding for supporting survivors with iRest Yoga
Teresa, In Soul Yoga for supporting survivors with Yin Yoga
Harshi from Hum Healing for supporting survivors with with medicine drumming