Towards the end of my first 200 hr of IYT at Kripalu Center, 2000) we were asked to choose a topic that we wanted to study using the techniques and practices we were learning. I struggled to find a topic. Specialization was contrary to my personal philosophy of Yoga. I wanted to be skilled in ways to help everyone. But choose I did and I narrowed it down to stress management & women’s health, looking for the lowest common denominator that would cover most people. As a divorced, 50year old, real estate broker, (20+ years ) I understood stress. As a mother of a tween & a teen, I was already suffering from the flashes that reminded me menopause was on it’s way. I wasn’t getting younger. I continued to study stress and was fascinated by where it led and what I learned. My early classes were mostly women experiencing mental/emotional and hormonal balance/imbalance. Integrative Yoga Therapy covers all of it.
Psychology was my first major course of study in college (1967) After watching the professionals deal with mental/emotional difficulties for decades, I am convinced that the holistic nature of yoga provides better healing for what ails us. Whether that be: abuse, trauma, addiction, estrangement, or just plain ole daily living.
Years and years of assisting the senior faculty at Kripalu Center honed my skills and satisfied my heart, I learned about healing from: abuse, trauma, disappointment, and basic life stressors. The issues are in the tissues, so says Swami Kripalu. For 20+ years I was part of the Inner Quest Intensive Facilitation Team, an experience of divine intervention in my life.
On December 14, 2012, the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT occured. I was in my car on the way to the grocery store when the news came thru on WNYC radio. I immediately slowed down as I took in the news. My first born grandson was 6 at the time so I felt an immediate connection to the story and stayed riveted for weeks to come.
Early in 2013 I was contacted by another of the facilitators from Kripalu. She was a gifted psychotherapist from CT. working with Sandy Hook Promise, the non-profit organization formed to help the community, the survivors, and anyone else affected by the tragedy. She was currently treating about 6-7 people directly connected to the event and thought an IQI-type retreat/intensive might be really helpful. Would I help her? After much discussion in Sept. 2013 we rented a vacation home in the Catskills for 4 days and brought in a group from Newtown, CT to participate in a healing retreat. I will tell a more complete story later, but the point now is how that experience changed me. From that moment forward I got to see how the work I was doing privately in my studio at home and at Kripalu could impact the world.
Sadly, events like this have only multiplied and escalated over the years. Treating trauma has mostly been one to one., if at all. But today, due to the state of the world and some earth-shaking astrology, we need more of this. We are all wounded healers of sorts.
Meanwhile, aside from gun massacres, wars, pandemics and climate events, abuse, addiction, psychological/emotional/mental afflictions and other dis-eases continue, all rampant in our society. Everywhere across all lines,
Yoga, however you choose to practice is necessary in today’s world. It’s not exercise. It’s not woo-woo. It’s not religious, or political, or anything that would encourage people to be anything less than peaceful towards themselves and each other. If everyone practiced, alone and together, we would have a better world and calmer communities.