We Store Our Trauma in Our Bodies
I put off taking a yoga class for years, though many friends, counselors and doctors had recommended it to me. I knew it was often very “new age,” and I didn’t want to deal with that. When I finally tried it, I found that to indeed be true. When instructors begin giving new age advice, I pray to Jesus.
Yoga movements are helpful for relaxation, which I surely need. What I found most interesting was I started to cry at the beginning of my second class. I really wanted to weep, though I held back. This happened again at the end of the class. The instructor explained we hold trauma in our bodies. He was excited his class had begun the process of releasing the emotions I had experienced over ten years ago. He said he would welcome me weeping during his class, though it might startle some of the class members. I’m glad he was excited. At the time I just felt weird.
The more I’ve thought about it, the more this made sense to me. When I was with my ex-husband I held my body tight to be prepared for the next onslaught of his abuse. I also taught myself not to cry. Since I’ve been free this last decade, I’ve made many strides forward in my healing process. I’ve taught myself how to cry again, and I am not as tense as I once was. I do notice that I have trouble taking the deep “belly” breaths yoga prescribes. I tend to take the shallow “fight or flight” upper chest breaths one takes when getting ready to run for her life. Not too surprising I guess. A lifetime of trying to please others will do that to you.
I asked my counselor if she’d ever heard of others crying during yoga. She said she had many clients who cry during yoga and even during massage. I guess I’m not alone. Have you ever experienced anything like this?