Trauma-Sensitive Yoga: Heal by Connecting With Your Body

The benefits of yoga for the body, mind, spirit, and soul have been understood in some cultures for centuries. An extensive body of research now points to the effectiveness of yoga for healing from various ailments, calming the mind, reducing pain and improving both physical and psychological wellbeing.

We now understand more and more about the use of yoga as a therapeutic tool for individuals who are healing from trauma and PTSD, along with addiction and mental health concerns. Beyond the positive effects of movement and stretching in general, yoga connects us to our breath and bodies in a powerful way. Developing a regular yoga practice helps to ground us, empower us and allow us to release trauma in a safe and gentle way.

Therapeutic Yoga for Trauma

Many people who are struggling with PTSD have difficulty talking about and even connecting with their emotions. The practice of yoga for trauma healing is based on the fundamental idea that we can address trauma by connecting with the breath and body, rather than forcing ourselves to talk about something before we’re ready.

What is Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TSY)

Trauma-sensitive yoga is specifically designed to assist with recovery from trauma, including those who are experiencing chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. Based on the hatha yoga style, trauma-sensitive yoga incorporates neuroscientific research and principles of trauma theory into its approach.

The practice of trauma-sensitive yoga recognizes the impact of trauma on the brain and body. We often respond to trauma by disconnecting from both physical sensations and emotions. This can lead to addiction, mental health conditions and chronic PTSD.

Trauma-sensitive yoga is designed to enhance awareness within the body, re-connect us with our physical and emotional feelings, teach us how to notice and release tension and empower us to heal and regain control of our physical, mental and spiritual selves.

Trauma-sensitive yoga has been found to increase activity in regions of the brain associated with interoception, which is essentially the capacity to sense your body’s internal state.

What Makes TSY Different from Regular Yoga

Many different styles of yoga offer health and wellness benefits that can be applicable to anyone, but trauma-sensitive yoga is specifically designed for those who are healing from trauma, and teachers of this practice have a specialized understanding of the effects of trauma on your mind and body.

A key concept behind trauma-sensitive yoga is its emphasis on the internal aspects of the practice, rather than the external ones. Physical form is not adjusted or corrected, and individuals are invited to alter poses based on what feel good for them. This helps to empower the yogi, and allows them to feel more connected to and in control of their own breath, body, mind and sensations.

Research has found that trauma-sensitive yoga is effective in decreasing chronic PTSD symptoms.

When to Use Yoga for Trauma

If you’re in the process of healing from trauma, this type yoga could work great for you. The Sanctuary at Sedona offers a holistic approach to healing from trauma and PTSD, integrating various approaches to connect you with your body, mind, soul and spirit.

Learn more about our holistic approach to trauma treatment in our article, Holistically Healing Trauma.

If you’re ready to try an integrative, holistic approach to trauma recovery, reach out to us. Give us a call at (877) 710-3385 or email us at info@sanctuary.net today to learn more.