If you have been reading and following my blog or Facebook page, you know I love yoga and have a regular practice. As a reader of this blog and others like it, you also understand that the toxic love we experience as a result of sociopath and emotional abuse results in layers of imbalance within our body and our minds. These imbalances are a direct result of the two major players that keep us in the relationship long after the abuse begins: the betrayal/trauma bond and cognitive dissonance.
Unfortunately, these major players don’t magically disappear once we are physically outside the relationship. In many cases, these two players become stronger and more powerful (probably because we expect answers that we never receive), leaving many of us overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness, depression, and despair.
How do we bring balance back to our lives? How do we align our logic with our hearts? How do we end the ruminations, the blaming, and the shaming and stop allowing the doubts to creep into our conscious thoughts?
I believe yoga and meditation offer the most natural and holistic approach to bringing ourselves back into the balance we desperately need and deserve.
Yoga helps to align our conscious proprioception (body alignment and awareness of our physical bodies within our surroundings) and our unconscious proprioception (those conditioned patterns of thinking that we’re often too busy to observe also called “samskaras” in yoga philosophy).
When we practice yoga, the skeletal/muscular/neuro proprioceptors (sensory nerve endings throughout our bodies that naturally ignite when imbalance is sensed) are activated and nurtured. This concurrent activation of proprioceptors in our body and mind silently work to bring us back into balance.
Poses like tree pose and warrior 3 and twists and lunges…really all of the postures/asanas, because they all require us to pay attention to our body balance and alignment…work to balance both our conscious and unconscious proprioceptions.
Do you find that as amazing as I find it?
So committing to a regular yoga practice can naturally cure our addiction and our cognitive dissonance. Other ways yoga tackles imbalances and disease:
>>Internal organs are massaged
>>Nerves are toned
>>Respiration, energy, and vitality are restored
>>Mind relaxes and anxieties are released
>>Self-acceptance is encouraged
>>Body is purified from the inside
But you worry. You have fears. You’ve never tried yoga. You aren’t flexible. You think you’re too fat or too short or too uncoordinated to do yoga. Many believe yoga is just about moving our bodies and being flexible in our joints and in our limbs.
I’m here to tell you that none of those things matter once you’re on the mat.
First, yoga isn’t a sport or a competition of any kind. If you fear doing yoga because you think you won’t be good at it, ask yourself this:
“Can I breathe and move at the same time?”
If you answered “Yes” to this questions, then you will be fantastic at yoga.
At the heart of yoga is breath awareness. Yoga requires that we come into total and complete awareness of how we breathe, when we breathe, and when and if we stop breathing. Combine this mental and thoughtful awareness of our breath with movement of our limbs and core and one is doing yoga.
It’s that easy.
Regardless of how flexible your body is when you begin practicing yoga, the healing benefits begin with your first practice as long as you do two things:
1. Focus on your breathing by paying attention to your inhales, your exhales, and when and if you stop breathing.
2. Maintain proper alignment of each pose by following the teacher’s cues and only going as deep as your body permits you to go…today.
Restorative yoga, Kripalu, Iyangar, or viniyoga styles are great options for anyone suffering from fibromyalgia, trauma, cognitive dissonance, and/or addiction. Beginner classes of most styles are also good options. Ideally, find a teacher who understands trauma and/or has yoga as therapy training.
For me, yoga is not a passing fad. I become certified as a yoga teacher later this summer. I love all of the gifts yoga has given to me and have a deep desire to bring those gifts to others.
To learn more about proprioception, read this!
[…] A little science behind why I recommend yoga to survivors of sociopath abuse. […]
Paula, when I lived in the valley I did a yoga class that left me feeling great, peaceful and relaxed. When I tried yoga in Long Beach a class literally made me sick to my stomach–quite a different effect. However to note the class in Long Beach was after the narc had reappeared in my life. I would like to find a yoga class that makes me feel like that first one I took. But there are so many different types of classes out there I don’t know where to begin. Given my history what kind of yoga class would you recommend for a beginner and for someone who has had emotional abuse in their life?
Restorative yoga, Kripalu, Iyangar, or viniyoga styles are great options for anyone suffering from fibromyalgia, trauma, cognitive dissonance, and/or addiction. Our tissues hold our stress and toxins. We must release those stresses and toxins at a gentle rate. We can’t rush it. Beginner classes of most styles are also good options. It’s best to find a teacher who understands trauma and/or has yoga as therapy training. Being in California, you’re at an advantage. Contact Ananda School of Yoga and Meditation in Northern California and ask if they can refer you to a teacher who has completed their yoga therapy program.
Reblogged this on A Yogini Transformed and commented:
Some people need to be convinced with a little science. I was once a sceptic, too, so I understand!