An offering to be with, and to turn toward, the feelings from which we instinctively recoil.
We have learned how to suppress our pain and deny its presence, but when we fight against our internal turmoil, glimmers of peace are short-lived. Rejecting our suffering is not a sustainable solution because trauma is held in the body. In this book, Nityda Gessel invites readers on a journey toward lasting freedom, with insights and experiential practices that marry the wisdom of Buddhist psychology, yogic teachings, and Indigenous understanding with somatic psychotherapy and neuroscience.
When we heal, our actions and attitudes are not hijacked by our nervous systems as easily. We begin to feel more comfortable in our bodies; more at peace, awake, and free. With Gessel’s invitation, readers will learn to look out into the world, and see more than their own trauma reflected back.
About the Author
Nityda Gessel, LCSW, E-RYT, is a somatic psychotherapist, trauma specialist, yoga teacher, speaker, writer, and heart-centered activist. Gessel has devoted her life to uplifting others, working at the intersection of Eastern spirituality, holistic mental health, and embodied activism.
In Embodied Self Awakening, Nityda Gessel extends her invaluable knowledge to you, the reader. She offers actionable steps for understanding and processing trauma that appreciate the very important connection between the body and the mind. I highly recommend this book.
— Gregory Scott Brown, MD, psychiatrist, mental health writer, and author of The Self-Healing Mind
Nityda Gessel has creatively and intelligently woven insights from Buddhist psychology, trauma theory, and Indigenous wisdom into an accessible guide. Anyone looking to deepen their spiritual path while engaging their psychological journey will find Embodied Self Awakening both practical and inspiring.
— Kimberly Ann Johnson, author of Call of the Wild: How We Heal Trauma, Awaken Our Own Power, and Use it For Good
In Embodied Self Awakening, Nityda Gessel offers something magical—a path to truly healing our pain. She does so by combining wisdom from the East and the West. Her magic is not just in the way she shares these two seemingly opposed approaches to healing, but in how she excavates the essential elements that make both approaches powerful and effective. The result is a truly holistic approach to trauma that encourages us to embrace both our darkness and our light. It is as powerful as the merging of Shiva and Shakti, the joining together of both consciousness and nature, which allows us to experience the fullness of our being—body, mind, and spirit. I know that many, many people will benefit from the magic of this book and the alchemical brilliance that it holds.
— Jivana Heyman, author of Accessible Yoga and Yoga Revolution
Nityda Gessel is a thoughtful, grounded, and wise guide. In this book she manages to connect the most cutting-edge trauma research with ancient and Indigenous wisdom in a way that brings to life some of the most important tools and perspectives for healing. Her writing is accessible and generous, and she takes the reader on an embodied journey that will no doubt profoundly touch anyone who picks up this book. — Hala Khouri, MA, SEP, E-RYT, author of Peace from Anxiety: Get Grounded, Build Resilience, and Stay Connected Amidst the Chaos (Shambhala)
I found this book to be a fantastic read with lots of useful, practical information. You will learn something new about history, Buddhism, and healing yourself or others. One thing I especially enjoyed was how the illustrations of relaxation poses featured several different bodies and body types, which is something often missing from similar works. This read would be helpful to social workers and social work educators in several facets of the work, and I recommend picking it up. — Libby Trammell - The New Social Worker
A former dancer, Gessel uses somatic embodiment exercises to help readers work through their trauma. She encourages readers to face their pain rather than turn away from it. — Jessica Little - Lion's Roar