Our bodies hold our felt sense of experiences. A certain taste, a familiar scent, or a song and we are transported right back to a memory. It is the smell of the library that sends me right back to when I was a little girl. I spent most of my summers riding my purple bicycle to the library. My books were placed carefully in my flowered bicycle basket as I rode with anticipation to see what books my Gramma, the local and best children’s librarian, had set aside for me. I remember feeling free, happy, well-cared for, safe, and loved on those days.

Several months ago, I shared this memory with a fellow classmate in yoga therapy training. We were having a practice session with each other and I was the client. She lovingly and expertly took me through a yoga practice that included this memory. While I was in Warrior 1 pose, she spoke of the freedom, safety, and love I felt during those bike rides to the library. She reminded me of the love my Gramma had for me as she chose what books I might like to read next. Hearing those words, while my body was firmly rooted in Warrior 1 pose, was like a switch had been turned on inside of me. My adult self was filled with a sense of safety, love, and freedom. That memory from my childhood was alive and well inside of my cells.

The recall of that memory as an adult, during my yoga practice, is still with me today. That felt memory has a bigger space inside of my body. Our bodies remember. For many of us, the traumas we have experienced are taking up more space than we realize.

A skillfully led yoga therapy practice can help to access those deeper meaningful experiences and allow them to expand. At the same time, we can access the more hurtful held memories by using our breath and bodies to move through them. They will no longer reside in the deepest parts of ourselves. Our bodies know the way.

This is yoga therapy.