The memory of trauma, from big to small, lives in the body. This is becoming more common knowledge as time goes on, but it’s what we do with this knowledge that counts. Stepping into your own somatic healing journey is what transforms this knowledge into deep, soulful wisdom.
Soma has two etymological roots. In Sanskrit it means “nectar,” and in ancient Greek it means “body.” I believe there is no coincidence in the shared meaning of these words. Indeed, the nectar of true and integrated healing can only be truly accessed through the portal of your flesh and blood.
The body is not only your portal for healing, but the gateway for embodying your light and divinity. It can oftentimes feel overwhelming to know where to begin in pursuit of healing deep wounds and reclaiming the nectar of your soul. There are times when connecting with the body can feel deeply unsafe, especially when intense sensations related to trauma are still overwhelmingly present and alive. While at times it can feel like your body is the enemy, your soma is simply a translator of energy. The more blocked and knotted up your energy is, the louder the signals of discomfort, pain and overwhelm become. The clearer and free-flowing your energy is, the more connected, radiant and grounded you get to feel. When you begin to slowly and gently unwind the blockages in your energy field, you are creating more and more space for your essence — your soul — to root into your body.
Gentleness, slowness and compassion are key for starting down the path of somatic trauma healing. I have experienced this firsthand through a deep journey of healing from PTSD and sexual trauma. Through the wisdom and intuition of my body’s healing, I channeled a trauma healing process called somatic yoga therapy to support others in healing from the impacts of sexual, physical and relational wounding.
The primary goal of somatic yoga therapy is to restore your connection to the safety and intuition that resides within your body through gentle movement, awareness and mindfulness practices that support rewiring the neural networks that keep you in a traumatized state. Once a foundation of inner safety and intuition are established, you are guided into the realm of trauma integration and “soul retrieval.” There is no timeline for this sort of healing, other than the timeline of your own body’s readiness.
Somatic yoga therapy is an individualized healing process that encourages you to drop into a deep connection with the intuitive wisdom of your own body. From this wisdom connection, organic impulses for healing naturally arise. These impulses are supported by a myriad of tools and resources from the yoga tradition (such as movement, sound healing, energy work or breathwork) that encourage a full discharge of energy. As this energetic release begins, more soul power, or self-energy, “you-ness,” shakti, aliveness, is able to take root in the body. This act of “soul retrieval” supports the deepest, most sustained healing possible and supports you in embodying your fullest self-expression in life, love, health and beyond.
You can’t change the past, but you can learn to release past energies that keep you stuck in reliving your past in the present moment. Through healing trauma, you can begin a vital initiation into more “soul power” and aliveness than you’ve ever known.
Photo by Aaron Blanco Tejedor.
Originally published in Summer + Fall 2022 issue.