Tag Archives: poem

Day 6: The Yoga of Self-Care

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Day 6: The Yoga of Self-Care

Why am I writing about self-care? All I had learned and understood was how to live in survival mode which is chaos and mayhem. Very exhausting. Self-care was a vague and foreign concept – something I am still cultivating an understanding within myself. I believe listening to my body is the foundation for learning how best to take care of myself. It has taken me years to develop healthier habits. And I am still very much a work in progress. Consistency is my challenge. I find myself in a state of resistance or flat out self-sabotage regularly.

There are so many reasons why we, as a culture, resist premium self-care habits in the midst of our platinum and luxurious lives. In my opinion, the lives we are working so hard to maintain, are layers of distraction for avoiding ourselves. I am ready for something different.

I choose to give myself permission to take extraordinary and exquisite care of myself. I give you permission to do it too.

Why all this emphasis on yoga? It spoke to me. Attending weekly Trauma Sensitive Yoga classes taught me what consistency meant for my body. Anytime I see a mat, I feel my body hum. It longs to spend more time on the mat in various states of rest and stretching.

TRAUMA YOGA

Contrary. Oxymoron.
Like me.
Two halves that should not fit.
But must reside in the same body.
The wounded half. The healed half.
I wonder, “How is this yoga different?
My curiosity invites me.
My trauma qualifies me.
My trauma body shows up.
Longing to find my yoga body.

No Eastern ambiance.
Just a conference room.
Filled with a sense of safety.
Created just for me.
And the millions of eligible souls.
Small classes, by design.
No challenge for perfecting the pose.
No call for deepening the experience.
My eyelids shutter closed.

It is just me and the teacher’s calm voice.
My body responds with a small rocking motion.
My self-soothing visits each pose.
Resources on Suicide Prevention keep me company during tree pose.
I smirk at the irony.
Memories of my 15-year vigil with Suicide.
And now I am doing yoga with Suicide.

Several weeks go by uneventfully.
Then my whole being hears the word “choice.”
My body shudders in response.
My mind keeps repeating:
Choice, choices, choice, choices, choice, choices
This is my awakening
I can move a little
Or a lot
Or not at all
The past is not here

Today means
No violent authority
No need to resist
No one holding me down
No one demanding, expecting
It is just me

I immerse myself in the experience of safety and choice
Body memories spasm and sputter, ready to escape
Captive no more
A spinal twist wrings out ancient tears

Yoga connects me to my body
Helps me feel whole
Shows me the path of gentleness
I begin to see a wider landscape of the future
To feel more freedom than pain
To resemble healing more than trauma

Only a teacher than understands
Trauma is ready to witness the depth of my pain
Only a teacher that understands
Yoga will appreciate the stretch of my courage
Today
I practice
The Yoga of Courage
I practice
The Yoga of Choice
I practice
Freedom Yoga

Photo, of the author in tree pose, is by http://www.brittripleyphotography.com/

Previously published on http://givebackyoga.org/trauma-sensitive-yoga-for-rape-survivors-reflections-from-a-poet

This is part 6 of a 7 part series on self-care.

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Rocket Fuel

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Rocket Fuel

Rocket Fuel

My friend

Is very quiet

As a child he talked

A lot

Car trip to grandma’s

His 5 year old mind liked to think

Out loud

Mama said, “Be quiet!”

Words = energy

Mama said, “Be quiet or I will put you out of the car!”

Contained thoughts burned his insides

Like fuel

There was no countdown

The rocket fuel was just too strong he reckons

Car stops

Mama takes him out

Dust settles

No traffic

Alone

Roadside bushes befriend him

My friend took apart his rocket

Buried the pieces

Swallowed the fuel

After forever, Mama returned

Grandma visited

Let the fuel flow

I will listen

Valuable words

One of a kind thoughts

Beautiful feelings

Let that old fuel out

Re-fuel regularly

I Remember

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I Remember

I remember, damn you, I remember

You stripped away my innocence

My joy

My freedom

My power

My 3 year old light was extinguished

You marked me with the scent of easy – easy prey.

Others were delighted to find the sign: Dine often, silence guaranteed.

How do I bathe enough to rid myself of that odor?

Unconsciously I have been striving to be better than easy

Perfection = Less Detection

My small, fragile body was used to bring empty relief to your pain, your anger, your rage.

You kept searching for liberation, release

I was not that savior for you

How many did you damage in your search? How many?

You did not know how to stop and I don’t know how you could have ever started.

You had a choice, many choices, and you chose to perpetuate your pain.

I loved you, trusted you – as your title mandated.

Grandpa, I remember now – I remember that you raped me over and over and over.

Maybe death is your savior, your release. Or maybe it is your Hell.

Firefighter

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Firefighter

Rape creates fire
Deep within
Bubbles like lava
Searches for air

Escape

Eruption

My friend
At the tender age of 5
Used a match
On her parent’s bed
Fighting for innocence
Burning for justice
Fight fire with fire

Pull ALL the alarms
Let the fire trucks scream with you
Save your Self
We need (s)heroes like you