About “Social Trauma” Through The Lens Of Yoga Therapy.


Let’s be honest, most of us are traumatized to some extend. We all come from different families, societies and very often inherit cultural neurosis as well. And when I’m talking about trauma I am not inclined to dig into psychosomatics and therapies for those who were abused in their lives, though it is a common and unfortunately a very big thing almost in any society. But I want to emphasize a way less obvious, though an epidemic kind of trauma. 

Alice Miller calls it “a lifelong yearning for fulfillment of our initial and vital needs.” When children are born, what they need most from their parents is love, by which I mean affection, attention, care, protection, kindness, and the willingness to communicate. If these needs are gratified, the bodies of those children will retain the good memory of such caring affection all their lives, and later, as adults, they will be able to pass on the same kind of love to their children and society. And by Love and Willingness to communicate I mean parents’ desire to learn more about their children, to listen to them and their real needs, but not what only seems to be important for parents.  In other words, I’m referring to the ability of an adult to be PRESENT towards their children. And I find that this ability is a rear gem. If we are witnessed and loved by our caregivers in the most present way, we would all grow up to be more conscious and aware of ourselves, our bodies, sensations, emotions as well as our surroundings, knowing how to love, be loved and accept things as they are. 

On the other hand, there is a lot of disconnection at all the levels for most of us these days. The trauma of not being witnessed with unconditional Love may manifest through physical conditions and things like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the future. 

This all is being said not to discuss the circumstances or lives of our parents or caregivers, but to speak about obviousness  of lack of awareness. It has become fundamental for the whole society, despite the country of origin or languages we speak. We all see these kind of doctors, looking at the tests’ results, but not in the eye of their patient; or watching the monitoring contractions machine, but not the woman in labour. Remember those people who are listening to you, watching their phone or texting simultaneously. Or imagine psychoanalysts interested in diagnosis, but not a person in front of them. We can call those behaviours unprofessional, self-centred, non-ethical... you name it! 

We all have been there. And I have a lot of compassion to these people, knowing that lack of consciousness comes from a disconnection within. 

And I am here neither to discuss caregivers, nor to blame them, but I want to raise awareness and responsibility for ourselves.

Just think about it, we all come from different countries and families with more or less different values, but we all know about basic hygiene. We all brush our teeth and take a shower, most of us watch what we eat and drink, we wash our clothes and try to dress neatly. But little do we think about the hygiene of the mind. How is it even possible to leave the house in the morning having our body washed and dressed in clean clothes, but with the mind full of impurities? How come we never notice that taking care of our mind, cleansing the impurities through conscious practices and learning to be aware is as necessary before meeting others, as clean clothes for our bodies. I call it basic hygiene. 

Regular practices expand mindfulness allowing to overcome personal trauma and to  find connection back to ourselves. 

You can do this work alone or supported by a good therapist. 

And if you find a good Yoga Therapist, they will be able to create an artful practice for your personal needs, working at all the levels. A good Yoga Therapist is the one who is struggling to become aware, who has their own practice, Teachers and is on their own journey of getting to know themselves better. This kind of a therapist will be there for you, present not only to your words, but also to your blind spots. They will give you a regular practice to support your personal hygiene. They will surround you with loving presence and ability to hold the space. 

And most importantly, having this kind of Teachers and a strong desire to live a conscious life, we all are able to come out of suffering and to heal our society!

Katerina Khramova