Practice as Healing for Survivors by Anonymous
This past week we watched a woman do one of the bravest things I have ever witnessed- In front of an entire country (potentially an entire world) she recounted the details of her sexual assault.
It is now one of several instances in the past few years, that women, specifically those who have survived sexual assault themselves (and let’s face it- that number is devastatingly large) have huddled together and embraced one another and cried. As a woman who has experienced sexual assault myself-that is exactly where I found myself.
It is in these moments I am utterly grateful to return to my mat.
I remember the wee hours of the morning, the day after the 2016 election. Many of us were in disbelief and frankly, grief. This was not because the candidate we wanted to see in office lost (don’t get me wrong I was angry about that too), it was because we were watching a man who openly bragged about sexual assault celebrate his victory upon winning the seat of President of United States.
I remember walking in that morning in tears. Taylor posted that “the shala was warm, open, and a welcoming space for whoever may need it”. I was angry and did not want to practice. But I stood at the front of my mat and began- “Ekham inhale, Dve exhale" and through grit teeth and tears did my practice.
And here we are again- angry, grieving, and in need of a warm, welcoming space. I am grateful for AYC to be that to me.
It was there that morning in 2016 that I recognized what Ashtanga has given me as a survivor of assault...
It has given me my power back.
It has given me strength.
It has given me resilience.
It has given me a connection to my body that NO person can take from me.
It has given me an ability to face my fear.
It has given me tools to calm anxiety.
It has been healing and is daily a continued healing.
I am grateful to Dr. Ford this week for her bravery, and grateful to my friends in and out of my yoga community who have bravely shared their experiences.
May we continue to be brave.