The Core Of Recovery Is Self Awareness

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“At the core of recovery is self-awareness” (2014, van der Kolk, p. 210). Events during this packet provided me the opportunity to explore further in my yoga practice. I revisited the “Healing from Trauma” section of van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score, and peeked into the insights of B. K. S. Iyengar. As I explored my emotions and self-awareness through yoga postures, each movement and thought opened a door to the proactive exploration of my inner world. My practice of yoga brought me into a deeper awareness of my body and emotions, guided me through mindfulness and being present in the moment, and assisted me in coping with incredibly difficult situations and my own reactions.
I don’t know where he is. Do I call the police?
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The incredible tension I felt was fear. Inability to keep my balance was a feeling of being out of control. As I struggled with a low lunge with a back bend, I noticed my feelings of frustration and helplessness. As I progressed through the heart-opening postures, as my instructors have called them, I felt a shift in my emotions. I spoke out the words “love”, “mother”, and “determination”. Heart-opening postures are postures which open the chest and allow for fuller breaths to enter the lungs. For half an hour, I worked through postures and naming my emotions, both negative and empowering. At the end of the practice, I reached out to a friend for assistance and later picked up my phone called asked for authorities to locate my son. My son is safe but hardly speaking to me. That is painful for me as a mother, but I can move through it. Throughout that previous yoga sequence, and similar sequences that followed during similar agonizing events over the weeks that followed, I continued naming the sensations and emotions I carried inside my body. I used the phrases “notice that” and “what happens next?” to move from overwhelming sensations to understanding what I was experiencing (van der Kolk, p. 210-212). Although I found myself immediately and automatically overreacting in these situations, this exercise of self-awareness and yoga helped me focus and take control of my emotions, my
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