Lately, I’ve been reflecting on somatic exercises we can do right now to help move through the pain and trauma that so many of us are experiencing.
I think back to my early days, and how yoga was, and still is, instrumental in my own healing and growth. And I am reminded of my first Kundalini class.
The light shone and cascaded through the windows of the studio, and I arrived late and anxious, quietly trying to find a space.
I was in my 20s and a newly single mother. I had just returned to university. I was overwhelmed and frightened. But each day, I told myself, “I am resilient,” and that became my mantra.
I began to meditate to survive, to bring myself to the present moment.
At the time, I had signed myself up for a dozen new yoga classes in between my university classes. While my classmates were busy going out, I was meditating, taking care of my child, and studying while she slept.
The Kundalini class was the first I had ever attended, and I had no clue what it was or what would happen. I was completely unprepared.
I rolled out my red mat and sunk down wearing my long flannel shirt and sweat pants. I was the only one in the room completely covered. I took another hard look around the room at the participants and my heart fluttered as I thought, “It’s too late to leave now.” I was in the front row, right in front of the instructor. She smiled and I nodded and swallowed that lump in my throat.
Sighing, I told my body to relax. I let go of the day, the week, and the year and came back to the present.
I followed the instructor as she guided us through rhythmic movements, and felt both grounded and like I was spinning at the same time. And then it happened—I felt a flood, and then the tears came.
There was no holding back; the steady stream flowed and the dam was open. I sobbed and, once again, wanted to flee.
I closed my eyes and embraced myself. During savasana, I felt relaxed and tingly. The Kundalini class unblocked me and allowed me to release my pain. I was raw, yet renewed. I had talked about my trauma before, and taken steps to move forward, but I wasn’t aware that I was still holding on to it in my body.
That day was a difficult one, and yet it was integral to my healing journey. This was the start. I continued to attend various classes and increased my meditation practice. And eventually, the yoga became less about the physical and more about the spiritual. But that class was the beginning of a path that returned me back to the woman I was meant to be.
Today, I remind myself of the importance of movement and grounding and letting go. I give myself permission to take more time to shake, sway, and dance. I return to my mat and breathe, sinking deeper, and I am reminded that it is okay to let the energy rise, both as an individual and collectively.
Energetically, we are all rising. And while the process may be painful at first, the collective healing and rising is both an expansion and a contraction—like a wave.
We shall ride and break free from the pain and trauma that has been buried. We shall rise!
Namaste, dear friends.