How Trauma-Informed Yoga Heals
"An essential aspect of recovering from trauma is learning ways to calm down, or self-regulate. For thousands of years, Yoga has been offered as a practice that helps one calm the mind and body. More recently, research has shown that Yoga practices, including meditation, relaxation, and physical postures, can reduce autonomic sympathetic activation, muscle tension, and blood pressure, improve neuroendocrine and hormonal activity, decrease physical symptoms and emotional distress, and increase quality of life. For these reasons, Yoga is a promising treatment or adjunctive therapy for addressing the cognitive, emotional, and physiological symptoms associated with trauma, and PTSD specifically (Emerson, Sharma, & Chaudhry, 2009)."
Trauma-Informed Yoga provides participants with...
(Emerson, Sharma, & Chaudhry, 2009)
- An opportunity to practice making choices and therefore gain an increased sense of autonomy and empowerment.
- The development of a sense of safety in the body.
- An opportunity to take effective action through “corrective experience”.
- An effective way to explore a sense of time; that all events have a beginning, middle and end.
- Decreased depression and anxiety.
- Increased self-regulation and decrease hyperarousal.
- A decrease in autonomic dysregulation.
- Increased body/self awareness and acceptance.
- Increased self esteem.
- Stress reduction.
- Improved sleep.
- A new sense of community and reprieve from isolation
- Decreased pulse rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure.
Emerson, D., Sharma, R., & Chaudhry, S. (2009). Trauma-Sensitive Yoga: Principles, Practice, and Research. International Journal of Yoga Therapy , 123-128.
Lamb, T. (2009). Health Benefits of Yoga. Retrieved November 21, 2012, from International Association of Yoga Therapists: http://www.iayt.org/site_Vx2/publications/articles/hlthbenefits.aspx
Links to organizations doing research about trauma-sensitive yoga and mindfulness practices
Research papers & interesting articles about trauma-sensitive yoga