I feel like my worlds have collided with my mental health training and my yoga training. When used together it can bring about tremendous results. Specializing in trauma I always approach treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy and EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). Being trained in EMDR has allowed me to treat trauma with a different approach and at times with results that are more rapid than traditional talk therapy. Combining traditional talk therapy, EMDR and trauma sensitive yoga is the perfect triad in my opinion. Using this triad helps heal our triad – mind, body and spirit.
I also feel that trauma is trauma and we all have a level of trauma that we carry with us. People often minimize their own trauma because there is always a worse story. However, again trauma is trauma – it can be little or big and that is carried with us in life and in our bodies. We all deserve to heal from our traumas, big or little.
Yoga is particularly helpful in my opinion in linking your body experience to your thoughts and feelings. Yoga teaches you to observe without reacting, to be able to focus and notice your body. I hope at some point to teach a trauma sensitive yoga class and be able to put into practice for the public something I feel so strongly about.
Now to calm alarming thoughts, I want to say that trauma sensitive yoga is not necessarily athletic yoga – I think of a slow grounding practice as the best kind to complete the triad for treatment of trauma. I think people stereotype yoga to be these gymnastic poses that are often highlighted on social media. Yes, there is a place for that but yoga is so much more.
Please listen to the following podcast: On Being with Krista Tippet with Bessel van der Kolk – How Trauma Lodges in the Body
In this podcast Krisa Tippet is interviewing Bessel van der Kolk. Bessel van der Kolk is the author of The Body Keeps the Score which is basically the trauma bible in my opinion. This podcast highlights the benefits of using EMDR and yoga as treatment.
Please listen and enjoy!