What Is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice born in Indian philosophy. However, yoga is more commonly known in the United States for its physical and mindful benefits. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), while there are many different forms of yoga, in the U.S., yoga is associated with physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. At Emerge Recovery TX, we offer trauma-informed yoga as a treatment option to support clients’ mental well-being and promote long-term healing.
Healing Practices of Yoga
As noted by the NCCIH, research has shown that yoga may have a profound positive impact on a person’s physical and mental health. Taking care of both the physical and mental health is a deeply interconnected process. Body, mind, and spirit support one another because when we take care of all aspects of ourselves, it feels good. It feels good to create space for self-love and to nurture and nourish every part of our being. In this way, engaging in self-care can help motivate us to create a positive cycle of wellness.
Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Yoga
Some of the important benefits of yoga include:
- Stress relief
- Supporting the development of healthy eating habits
- Increasing participation in health activities
- Improving mental and emotional health
- Promoting healthy sleeping habits
- Building overall balance and wellness
- Possible relief from physical pain
- Support for physical health and weight management
- Supporting mindfulness and self-awareness
What Is Trauma-Informed Yoga?
The emotional distress experienced from trauma does not only affect a person’s mental and emotional health. Trauma can also be felt in the physical body. From muscle tension to brain overload from a constant high-alert state, trauma manifests in every part of an individual. Therefore, trauma-informed or trauma-sensitive yoga is designed to help clients become more aware of their body and what is happening inside it. By reconnecting the brain to your body, we can start to understand the impact of trauma as we release stress and tension built up in the body.
Differences Between Traditional and Trauma-Informed Yoga
Traditional yoga instruction focuses on pushing the mind and body to their limits. On the other hand, trauma-informed yoga is more focused on healing from trauma through emotional regulation and mindfulness.
- Traditional yoga
- The instructor may leave their mat to walk around the class.
- An instructor may touch a student to help or push them into a specific pose.
- Students are asked to close their eyes to eliminate distractions.
- Trauma-informed yoga
- The instructor will stay on their mat.
- They will not attempt to move students into different positions to avoid triggers like touch.
- The instructor will give students their personal space and not walk around the class.
- Trauma-sensitive instructors are aware of trauma barriers.
- They encourage and invite students to try different posture and breathing techniques.
- The environment uses gentle and encouraging language to suggest certain positions.
- Students may be asked to lower their eyes or look down.
- The instructor will stay on their mat.
How Can Yoga Help in Trauma Recovery?
As an approach to care, trauma-informed yoga can support clients in building connections between the body, mind, and spirit. Practicing trauma-informed yoga can help clients slow down, relax, and become fully present in the body as they learn how to step down from hyper-alertness to feel secure, both in their body and their space. Moreover, as we learn to relax the body, tension leaves us, restoring balance and connection between the body and the mind through conscious breath and movement.
To learn more about being in the present in your body, mind, and spirit, visit our Mindfulness page.
Trauma-Informed Yoga at Emerge Recovery TX
At Emerge Recovery TX, we believe trauma-informed yoga is a supportive therapeutic approach to healing trauma. We know that healing does not happen overnight, or in isolation, rather, it flourishes through the security and love of a community. Working together to care for themselves and the fellow women at Emerge, clients begin to heal in body, mind, and spirit. As an ancient conscious-based practice, yoga can support the balance and reconnection of the internal self with the external self. Through trauma-informed yoga, clients are never pushed but rather encouraged to explore and nurture their bodies in a safe space. In the safety of our yoga sessions, you can begin to process and reduce traumatic responses with emotional regulation skills, breath connection, and body awareness.
Yoga Practices at Emerge Recovery TX
Some of the practices used in trauma-informed yoga include restorative yoga and yoga poses for mindfulness and body awareness.
Uses a series of breathing exercises (pranayamas)
Includes a series of poses (asanas)
Breathing and poses reduce reactivity to stress triggers
Encourages a healthier mindset
Improves overall mental health and well-being
Teach love for yourself and your body
Engage emotional regulation
Train the mind to overcome stress triggers
Increase body awareness
With trauma-informed yoga or trauma-sensitive yoga, we can support you as you reconnect your body, mind, and spirit on your journey to long-term recovery. At Emerge Recovery TX, we use therapeutic approaches like trauma-informed yoga to help women struggling with trauma learn to regulate their emotions, reduce stress triggers, be more present, and find balance to support lifelong recovery. Call us today at (737) 237-9663 to learn how trauma-informed yoga can support you on your journey to healing and wellness.