Yoga as Healing
Stress, Trauma, PTSD, Anger, Depression, Anxiety, Life Changes, Sexual Assault Survivors
Down-Regulating the Nervous System Yoga
Private 1 on 1 Sessions (online)
Location: Create a peaceful and calm place (online)
Join us for a one-on-one Trauma-Sensitive guided and supported practice series. You will be inspired by a customized yoga series, specifically designed for you and your needs.
This offering is for all who would like to open to greater calm, inner peace, being present, grounding, clarity and stimulate their parasympathetic nervous system to a place of ease, rather than feeling stuck in a flight, fight, and freeze response. This yoga series will specifically support you to return to balance and increase your resilience to stay in peace.
We create a personalized program to target your specific needs.
How Yoga Helps Heal Trauma
What is Trauma?
Traumatic experiences can take many forms—a car accident, a mugging, or abuse, to name a few. In the past, conventional wisdom led people to talk therapy for healing. But some experts say this isn’t enough.
“Trauma causes the body to be frozen in a state of fear, terror, and hypervigilance, “So fundamentally, the effect of trauma is in relationship to one’s body. One’s body gives the signal that it’s not safe, and your body keeps fighting an existing enemy.” - Dr. Bessel van der Kolk
How does yoga practice impact people who have experienced trauma?
When people think about trauma, they generally think of it as a historical event that happened some time ago. Trauma is actually the residue from the past as it settles into your body. It’s located inside your own skin. When people are traumatized, they become afraid of their physical sensations; their breathing becomes shallow, and they become uptight and frightened about what they’re feeling inside. When you slow down your breathing with yoga, you can increase your heart rate variability, and that decreases stress. Yoga opens you up to feeling every aspect of your body’s sensations. It’s a gentle, safe way for people to befriend their bodies, where the trauma of the past is stored (Bessel van der Kolk, MD).
How important is talk therapy in treating trauma?
If you’ve been traumatized, you’re likely to have a very distorted relationship to your body. It’s in your body and, because of that, yoga has great relevance, because it goes directly to sensing and befriending the body. While talking and knowing what happened and being able to articulate it is an important part of treatment, the most important part is starting to regain ownership of your body and be comfortable in your own skin (Kripalu Center for Yoga).
What does the evidence show as far as yoga’s efficacy?
Studies show that yoga is equally as beneficial - or more beneficial - than the best possible medications in alleviating traumatic stress symptoms. In the studies involving neuroimaging of the brain before and after regular yoga practice, they were able to show that the areas of the brain involving self-awareness get activated by doing yoga, and those are the areas that get locked out by trauma and that are needed in order to heal it.
How can we help?
Healing with Yoga at Psychotherapy for You is a trauma and stress-informed yoga class that emphasizes personal choice-making and connecting to the body and breath in the present moment. There is invitational language for each person to decide how they would like to move throughout the class, recognizing that the body may hold trauma, which can make it challenging to connect to the body and breath. Cameras on or off, whichever you choose. Late arrivals and early departures are welcome.