Yoga For Healing provides yoga classes specifically designed to support healing in survivors of trauma.
HOW CAN YOGA HELP IN THE HEALING PROCESS?
"Trauma affects the entire human organism—body, mind, and spirit—and that the whole organism must be engaged in the healing process".
- David Emerson, Rita Sharma, Serena Chaudhry and Jenn Turner (2009)
Trauma has a large impact on the body’s physiology. For many, trauma symptoms are held in the body long after trauma has occurred.
While experiencing danger, our body's survival system activates and takes over, commonly putting us in fight, flight or freeze and submit mode. For many survivors of trauma, this survival system stays activated after a traumatic event is over, causing the body and mind to sense danger even when there is none.
This can manifest in the body in many ways including intrusive memories, physical pain, and emotional disruption ranging from being extremely anxious and easily angered to feeling numb and disconnected from one’s body. Yoga can provide an entry point at the physical level for survivors to reconnect with and reclaim their body and mind.
Yoga For Healing classes use mindfulness practices, breath work and yoga asanas (poses) as tools to become reacquainted with one's body in a way that feels safe and accessible.
EMBODIED APPROACH TO HEALING
Yoga provides a framework to explore one's inner experience and how it relates to the outside world. Yoga’s focus on turning inward can provide a way to make a connection between the physical and emotional self. Many trauma symptoms can be difficult to verbalize and for some, having to share their story can be triggering. Yoga For Healing classes emphasize self exploration and expression at the physical level which, as David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper explain in their book, Overcoming Trauma through Yoga, "has a ripple effect on emotional and mental health, on relationships, and on one's experience of living in the world".
Making choices in and about one’s own body is large part of a Yoga For Healing class. Survivors have often had their freedoms and choices taken from them, yoga can be a tool for regaining this power and autonomy. Each participant is in control of their own practice and will be empowered to listen to their bodies to inform how they participate in class in order to strengthen a sense of connection to the self and cultivate a feeling of safety and control in one's body.