What is Trauma Sensitive Yoga?
Trauma Sensitive Yoga
By Patricia S. Farrell LCSW-R, RYT
Yoga means to yoke or union, union of the mind, body and spirit. Healing on a psychological and emotional level is often about union in the mind between past present and future. So there seems a natural connection between the two. When one survives a trauma they are often still struggling to live in the present and not in the past. Often the brain continues to interpret traumatic events as if they are still happening or might happen again at any moment and the systems in the body respond by holding on to tension.
Trauma sensitive yoga draws on theory from neuroscience, trauma theory and attachment theory. The goals of yoga are to assist trauma survivors to develop more comfort in their body, improve self-regulation skills and to find a sense of choice in their experience.
These goals are achieved by
– practicing making choices
– emphasizing the present moment experience
– offering opportunities to take effective action
– creating rhythms (time, interpersonal and intrapersonal)
– focusing on spatial orientation and sensing dynamics
Trauma Sensitive Yoga helps to improve interoceptive awareness (knowing what one feels), increase empowerment and decrease many physical responses to trauma.