If you’ve ever experienced psychological trauma, you know how it can affect your life. Trauma can make you feel unsafe, disconnected, and overwhelmed.It can also change your relationship with your body, making you feel numb, tense, or out of control. But there is hope. In this article, you’ll learn what Trauma Sensitive Yoga is, how it works, and why it can benefit you. Also you’ll find tips on how to get started and what to expect from a session.
What is Trauma Sensitive Yoga?
Trauma sensitive yoga (TSY) is a type of yoga that can help you heal from trauma and reconnect with your body. TSY is not just a regular yoga class. It’s a special approach that takes into account your unique needs and challenges as a trauma survivor.
TSY was developed by experts in trauma therapy and yoga. It’s based on research that shows how trauma affects the brain and the body, and how yoga can help restore balance and harmony.
Who is Trauma Sensitive Yoga for?
Trauma Sensitive Yoga can benefit anyone who has experienced trauma or a traumatic event, whether acute or complex. Trauma is widespread and deeply harmful for individuals and communities. In fact, about 61% of adults in the United States have reported at least one adverse childhood experience.
Some examples of trauma include:
– Physical abuse
– Sexual abuse
– Emotional abuse
– Domestic violence
– Natural disasters
– Medical procedures
If you’ve experienced any of these events or circumstances, you may have symptoms of trauma that affect your well-being. Some common symptoms include:
– Low self-esteem
If you experienced of these then trauma sensitive yoga may help you.
How to Get Started with Trauma Sensitive Yoga?
If you’re interested in trying TSY, here are some steps you can take:
– Find a qualified TSY teacher near you. You can search online for TSY classes and workshops or ask for recommendations from your therapist or doctor.
– Choose a class that suits your level of experience and comfort. You may want to start with a beginner class or a private session before joining a group class.
– Prepare yourself for the session. Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely. Bring a water bottle and a towel if needed. Arrive early so you can settle in and talk to the teacher if you have any questions or concerns.
– Follow the teacher’s guidance but listen to your own body. Remember that you are always free to choose what you do and don’t do during the session. You can modify any pose or skip it altogether if it doesn’t feel right for you.
– Be gentle with yourself. Don’t push yourself too hard or compare yourself to others. Respect your limits and honor your feelings.
– Enjoy the experience. Try to stay present and curious about what’s happening in your body. Notice any changes or physical sensations that arise during or after the session.
– Give yourself feedback. After the session, reflect on how you feel physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
What did you like or dislike about the session? What did you learn or discover about yourself? How can you apply what you learned to other areas of your life?
Trauma Sensitive Yoga Is Different From Typical Yoga
Trauma sensitive yoga is different in several ways:
It focuses on creating a safe and supportive environment for you to explore your body sensations, emotions, and thoughts. It’s not competitive and does not use exclusionary language.
It gives you choices and options on how to move, breathe, and rest. You are always in charge of what you do and don’t do.
It avoids any poses or instructions that might trigger or retraumatize you, such as closing your eyes, lying on your back, or touching others.
It uses simple and clear language that avoids metaphors, commands, or judgments.
You can stop, take a break or leave the room anytime.
TSY instructor’s do not assist or touch you without permission.
In traditional yoga, clothes of the instructor and participants are often tight, TSY is sensitive to this and people wear appropriate attire.
TSY uses neutral and inclusive language, avoiding words that might trigger shame.
It encourages students to listen to their own bodies and sensations, rather than following external cues
Instructors provide resources and referrals for further support, if needed.
If you are nervous about going to a class, using CBD can help you: CBD and Yoga Are the Perfect Match for Stress Relief and Relaxation.
Benefits Of Trauma Sensitive Yoga
It Calms Your Nervous System
Trauma Sensitive Yoga helps you calm your nervous system and regain a sense of safety and control over your body:
By moving slowly and mindfully,
breathing deeply and rhythmically,
and resting when you need to,
You can soothe your stress response and activate your relaxation response.
It Helps You Build a Positive Relationship With Your Body
TSY works by helping you reconnect with your body in a gentle and safe way.
When you experience trauma, your nervous system goes into survival mode. You may feel anxious, angry, restless or numb, frozen, or detached. You may also lose touch with your body sensations and have difficulty trusting them.
By building body awareness and paying attention to your sensations without judging or trying to change them, you can learn to accept and appreciate your body as it is.
Trauma Sensitive Yoga Helps You Process Your Emotions
TSY can also help you process your emotions and thoughts related to trauma. By noticing how your body reacts to different stimuli, you can gain insight into your feelings and beliefs. You can also learn to express yourself in healthy ways.
It Reduces Trauma Related Symptoms
It can reduce your symptoms of trauma-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or chronic pain.
Trauma Sensitive Yoga Enhances Physical Health
It can improve your physical health by enhancing your immune system, lowering your blood pressure, improving your sleep quality, and reducing inflammation.
It Boosts Your Mental Health
TSY can boost your mental health by increasing your self-esteem, confidence, resilience, and happiness.
Trauma Sensitive Yoga Enhances Your Social Life
TSY can enhance your social health by improving your communication skills, empathy, trust, and intimacy.
TSY Supports Your Spiritual health
It can support your spiritual health by connecting you with your values, purpose, and meaning.
The Difference Between Trauma Sensitive Yoga and Trauma Informed Yoga
Trauma Sensitive Yoga is a specific type of yoga that was developed by researchers at the Justice Resource Institute in Massachusetts. It’s based on evidence that shows that yoga can help people with complex trauma and Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to reconnect with their bodies, regulate their emotions, and feel more safe and empowered. TSY is taught by certified facilitators who have undergone extensive training in trauma theory, neuroscience, and yoga as therapy.
Trauma Informed Yoga (TIY) is a broader term that describes any yoga practice that is aware of the impact of trauma. It tries to create a safe and supportive environment for trauma survivors. Trauma Informed Yoga teachers may or may not have specialized training in trauma, but they follow the genera principles of trauma and yoga practices.
Both trauma sensitive yoga and trauma informed yoga practice can be beneficial for people who have experienced trauma, but they are not the same. TSY is a more structured and researched-based approach, while TIY is a more flexible and adaptable one. Depending on your needs and preferences, you might find one more suitable than the other.
What Is The Difference Between a Yoga Therapist and Yoga Instructor?
A yoga therapist is a professional who has completed extensive training in yoga therapy, which is a holistic approach to health and wellness. It integrates yoga with other modalities such as psychology, medicine, and social work.
A yoga instructor is a person who has completed a certification program in teaching yoga. A yoga instructor can teach general or specialized classes, such as beginner, advanced, prenatal, or TSY.
The main difference between a yoga therapist and a yoga instructor when doing TSY is that a yoga therapist has more knowledge and skills to work with trauma survivors in a therapeutic way, while a yoga instructor may have more experience and expertise in teaching TSY as a form of exercise. Both roles are important and valuable for supporting trauma survivors in their healing journey.
Trauma sensitive yoga is a powerful tool for healing trauma and reconnecting with your body.
It can help you calm your nervous system
Build a positive relationship with your body
Process your emotions and traumatic memories
and improve your overall well-being.
If you’re looking for a gentle and safe way to reconnect with your body after trauma, give Trauma Sensitive Yoga a try.