Feeling Stuck? What horses and trauma informed yoga have taught me recently.

Movement and release

A few weeks back I wrote about horses, the language of horses and the gifts and insights these magnificent animals can offer if only we stop, look, listen and move with them rather than forcing them to be as we say or do.


This has been my own personal journey this year – connecting with nature under times of immense upheaval and uncertainty in family dynamics. The horses’ herd shelters, supports and walks alongside those who are in need – be they young, old, weak or injured. The herd knows its strength is together – not without its challenges or upheaval, infighting and competition – but that together the herd can survive and move onwards.


So too with humans yet we have been conditioned to thinking we can and should do it all alone. Our individualism allows us to succeed for ourselves, that any success is ours and ours alone, that any monetary gain is ours and ours alone. That needing support, connection, involvement is not for us, that we don’t need it. Nothing could be further from the truth – it is only in connection that we find out we are here. That we matter. It is only in connection that we can receive the support we need for daily living. It is only in connection that we find the joy of living and doing life together.


Connection is such a tricky word these days especially after such times of isolation and independence. How do we reconnect – what is reconnection – am I capable of reconnection – will anyone want to connect with me?


When one sits with these statements, it’s amazing the emotions and intensity of emotion that arise – fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, loneliness, anger, despair, confusion and sadness, deep grief even. “Knowing” that we have been “alone”, that there is no herd for support, that we are not seen therefore not valued is a big part of how society is right now. And yet………..


Support comes not just from people or even more possessions, but from nature, from plants, trees, and animals, from the rivers and streams, from the wind and the rain, from all the beauty of the living world. We are not separate from it, we are very much part of it. When will we wake up to this vitally important fact and live differently, live more connected, live more gently, live with more intent and wholeness?


This for me is the call of the horses – “Connect to us, unite with us, work with us, we are one. The fear and anxiety and despair and greed and self-centredness is not our natural demeanour and nor is it yours. Reclaim your joy, reclaim your spark, reclaim your innate being as part of the ecosystem of planet earth. And in reclaiming yourself, you reclaim your power. What you once tolerated being alone and isolated, especially when it was imposed, you will find is no longer an option. The reclamation of togetherness means that behaviours are revealed, deeper understandings of motivations and actions impacting you and the planet are illuminated and the calling to work with nature becomes ever stronger.”


There are many changes and challenges worldwide right now affecting us all in various ways.  However if we look to the horses, what do they do? They constantly move – for food, for shelter, for interaction and connection – for survival and living. They are never static.


So too we are being called to adapt and if required, move to increase connection, to find greater joy and peace, to contribute and live. With movement, can come immense breakthrough.


Being one with the horse means allowing flow – of movement, of energy, of trust. It is an exchange of being and for too long man has seen domination of the horse and the demand for work and effort as his right. No longer – with people like Monty Roberts revealing the horse and his true nature and how to work with the horse, domination can no longer be part of the relationship. This too is what is being asked of us as human beings – to exchange being with each other in safe and secure ways that honour the integrity of each other. We can choose to safely move apart at anytime when situations change or needs alter.


Just recently I have been exploring trauma informed yoga and somatic healing. I’ve been around yoga practice since early childhood but never found it safe or supportive and walked away from it. Now I have a better understanding why it was so for me.


Trauma informed yoga allows one to explore movement in a safe way, one that can move at your own pace and ability without judgement or expectation. It is a form of movement that can be as big or as small as you feel able. You are in control of your own body, your own space and ability to move within it. Much like the horse in the round pen learning to trust humans, a triggered nervous system is down regulated through slow and compassionate movement. However, the movements in and of themselves are just part of the story, so too is the teacher and the actual environment – is it safe, are they safe, am I safe?  Like the horse – exploring this, and learning to move with the energy of emotion allows for an interesting level of healing and understanding to evolve.


Understanding connection within the trauma informed yoga setting is much like being with the horse – focus on self and movement, going at your own pace until you are ready to explore more, physical and energetic, playful and strong, wise and gentle, filled with love. This has been my experience.


The slowness of movement and ability to “see” connection through this whilst allowing emotions to rise fully and completely whilst holding space in tender care, allows for deeper understanding and trauma release. I won’t call it healing because I think there are many levels of healing and a lifetime’s journey of healing of self, of family, of society, of the collective but my experience has been to experience emotions and insights in safe and secure ways and honouring the healing within me as I do this work. The fear, the anxiety, the anger and hurt, the resentment and envy, the sorrow and grief surrounding us daily – these can threaten to overwhelm our nervous systems but from a place of connection and safety, I am learning to let go of stored/stuck emotional energy and find greater and greater strength and connectedness within myself - first and foremost.


Horses, humans, plants, Earth – moving energy in and through us in gratitude and love for the understandings and teachings received so far. For traumas past and present that now choose to reveal themselves and ask for deeper healing and release. Peace and Light be there.


The journey continues.........



This product has been added to your cart