Yes, yoga is not an instant fix- but I believe there are ways to accelerate this, using yogic methods.
From my initial classes at the neighborhood yoga school to being able to discern brain noise defragmentation as an effect of sitting meditation took approximately 10 years (about 1996-2006). Maybe there were ways to achieve this in a shorter time.
1. One can immerse yourself, leaving civilization as we know it, join an ashram, sell everything, and/or go stay with a master devoting every hour to this process. I have never tried this, as it was very unappealing to me, with an art practice and friends, at least at that time, I thought that I had friends. I have visited ashrams in the United States of America. I have not met anybody who convinced me that moving into an ashram is a good fit for me. Each place I have visited had glitches that I did not want to be a part of, and some are cults. This said, I believe that becoming a full-time devotee would allow a student of yoga to get quicker results.*
2, 3, 4, and 5. The other ways healing through yoga can be accelerated is to allow the afflicted to have peaceful lives. Do not make it worse. Tough love doesn’t work. If a person is afflicted, making things harder is not going to help they get tough. of course this does not apply to those who had so much privilege that they go out in the real world and are overwhelmed.
This is one of the reasons that I believe slowed down the yoga effect:
I was misdiagnosed for approximately 18 years (see January 3rd post). When I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I was encouraged to apply for disability (SSDI). While my Social Security disability application was in process, I started to check Craigslist ads in the “Creative Gigs” section. I needed to work off the books. At that time I was working as an art model in colleges with art departments, but that was on the books. I started going to strangers’ apartments to be photographed nude or wearing lingerie that they bought, have me wear to be photographed, and then returned to them.
This is how it started. I was getting help from the organization that was connected to the therapist and the psychiatrist that I was keeping appointments with. I was art modeling for schools and going to therapy as my mind was going through abysses and dark holes. So when I was diagnosed and started my application with the Social Security Administration (SSA), I was told that I cannot work while the application was being processed; to go live with family. This is not an option (see post from 12/20/14). The organization whose therapist I was seeing told me that they will help with my rent. I was in tears when I was told this. I was frightened to get help, as my parents told me as a child that they own me because I am not working and paying rent so they have no responsibility towards me and that I am their object. Still this was a spiritual organization with values, and I gratefully took their help. I am still grateful for the months they have helped with the rent. This was in the early 2000’s and I lived alone and my rent was $428 per month. I received food stamps and Medicaid from the government, and I had a very severe and austere life, but I was surviving and still showing my work and being involved in projects.
As the elders in the organization found that the SSA process takes more than a few months, they told me to give up on SSDI and to go back to work; essentially to “snap out of it” and to find a job as a secretary, a job that I could not do. My therapist and psychiatrist stepped in to say how that was a bad idea and not feasible, and asked them to keep supporting me and to possibly help me extra with my art pieces, that had places to present, but no budget. The therapist and the doctor told the elders that I shouldn’t even be applying for disability if it was not necessary, and that they both came to the conclusion that I should not be working. The elders, who do not have nervous conditions just gave a blank face when this was uttered. There it was 5 people in a small meeting. Two elders, a doctor, a therapist, and I, and the room fell silent and the energy changed.
I told the therapist and the elders about the nude modeling work, and they would ask me about income and hourly pay, and help me out if I was short at the end of the month for rent. At the very least, they trusted how frugal I am, and that I was a master at simple living, which was in agreement with their spiritual values. They also should have been against the work I was doing. Basically put your beliefs aside to save money. She must work, as she must have done something wrong that she ends up a “getting off” model.** I was able to work off the books for cash, and occasionally take yoga classes this way. Imagine if this was on the books, and there was a paper trail for each model who was desperate to pay her bills. At another meeting, the psychiatrist told the elders that I was only able to do this because I was dissociating in a way like I did as a child when being sexually abused, and that nobody should be doing sexual work. Blank stares, not answer. They did not consider what kind of work I was doing, the fear of ringing a stranger’s doorbell, taking off clothes, cell phone needs to be with the clothes not on the body, being coerced into “free thinking body poses”, being directed to “bubble up your but”, “stick your titties out”, “hold your tits in your hand”.
“Photography modeling” led to other off the books work. Sleazy men had postings in the Craigslist gigs section titled “workout partner” and “life drawing/good pay”. The workout man had me go over and he would lift me, bench press me, and do “acro yoga”, both of us clothed, to work out. At the end of the session, he would rub his erection on my clothed body through his sweatpants. The life drawing gig was a man who claimed to be a performance artist. He payed me to command him to get naked, and then tie him up, to a piece of furniture, or building structure, and then draw him with pencil or charcoal. He also encouraged me to verbally berate him while drawing. I did this job a few times; I didn’t have to take off my clothes, I worked in jeans and a T-shirt, and the gigs took place in a rented office in a space that had monthly and hourly office, art studio, event, and darkroom spaces for rent. After a while, he, like the photographers, and the “athlete”, started showing signs of wanting to push boundaries, and I would stop working with them, blocking their numbers on my cell phone.
Throughout this, I was a working artist and was practicing yoga, going to low-cost community classes, paying full cost for classes when I could afford to, and showing my work, as well as being involved in art projects. Being naked for a living because I was perceived as not “deserving” help while being sick and on and off meds while waiting for disability slowed down my healing through yoga……..
Please try to let those who are afflicted by trauma to start their healing in a safe space. They became sick because of a great injustice done, whether it was directly or indirectly pointed at them. They are not weak, they are strong from surviving this, and making their lives harder to toughen them up will slow down their attainment of health. Nobody thinks that it is good to shoot a person who is coming out of a cast so they can eventually gain more scar tissue.
and my next post will be method #6…… try to avoid medication.
* I saw glitches in the ashrams I have visited early in the visits. I am old enough to see inadvertent racism. It is easier to see this behaviour as a person of color who is hypersensitive and at times hypervigilant. We become better at reading the atmosphere as we get insensitive comments, or receive different workloads or are ignored during conversations in situations. I am sensitive to when people expect me to be less informed, less educated, less competent, and less experienced. I am sensitive to hidden and not hidden hostility when perceived as a threat, or as competition. I get a yucky feeling, while I want to see people in the best light, give them the benefit of the doubt, not to think that they are racist. I want to stay humble; what me? I don’t have anything that can get a person worried, or threatened. That is why I never encountered an ashram that I wanted to run off to. Truly enlightened people are color blind and even species blind, and I would like to learn from people who are color blind and species blind.
** I say “getting off” model because I don’t believe that “exotic”, or “fetish” is a good description of this. No I never had sex for money, but I intuited that these men liked having a naked “girl” in their place, and have photos to prove it to themselves, and maybe masturbate to, as well as having economic and physical power over us, and us be afraid of them.