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Mindfulness and Yoga and IFS

Being connected to your Body may be the last thing you want when you have suffered Trauma , Abuse or Neglect, its something you may have been running from forever. IFS (Internal Family Systems) and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy are very gentle therapy and powerful ways to help us reconnect. To survive we suppress our feelings this makes sense. Then we realise without our feelings we can’t make sense of the World around us. We start to get symptoms, Depression, lack of sense of who we are, flashbacks, nightmares, no memories, suicidal ideation thoughts, self harm, worthlessness, Emotional overwhelm,Hyper vigilance, Generalised Anxiety Panic Attacks, Chronic Pain and Headaches, feeling unreal or out of body, Self Destructive Behaviour, loss of sense of who I am, Irritability, Insomnia, Numbing, Loss of a sense of future/ hopelessness.

Unless we make sense through Body and Mind , time and space, we can remain stuck, frozen in time. Trauma fixates it constricts, fragments stay frozen and we just can’t move on and through. Once we can feel and connect to the fragments of the memory we can make sense of why we have suppressed our feelings to such an extent. We can gain compassion for ourselves. We get to know how amazing we are to have survived, which leads to self compassion and real self awareness. We can begin to Thrive and feel liberated.

Mindfulness and Yoga along with therapy can help bring us into this very moment in time and help us to change the habits of a lifetime, never underestimate the Breath, it acts as an anchor. With knowledge of the Poly Vagal Theory, (Stephen Porges), we can realise that our Brain and our Nervous system can be re-set. We can update our system and become our True Self Again. Thank you Richard Schwartz, who pioneered this model (IFS) of HOPE IN SELF.

I heard this poem the other day and was so touched by its profoundness and wisdom.


Stop and stand

on your own patch of ground

where your feet are. ( YOGA, on your Mat).

Really stand there,

all of you – body and mind.

From this place

comes all your wisdom,

comes every answer

that is possible

for you to know

right now.

And when you see hurt,

hold tight to your sword

and know that you cannot fix another.

Instead, bear witness with the ground (Stay with your helpless or anxious feelings)

to that other body,

to all its found and unfound wisdom. (Don’t push or run from feeling, instead invite it, little by little, drop

by drop).

And when you think

‘I want to take your suffering’ (don’t busy yourself with other peoples business).

just stand.

And when you think

‘I want to take your pain’ (or be a caregiver, when you show no understanding or compassion to self and become an empty well).

just stand.

And if you really must do something,

then remember love

and breathe it

and be it

And let the seams of your soul

soften and melt away

so the boundary

between me and you

is no longer there

and we are both love

and witness to love,

ground and standing feet,

question and answer.

Rachel Holstead

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