Trauma Informed Yoga

“Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence.”  Peter Levine

Somatic Experiencing defines trauma as any real or perceived threat that is both overwhelming to the nervous system and from which we feel unable to escape. Trauma arises when there is a lack of choice.

We often associate trauma  with war, rape, abuse, a violent attack or near-death experiences. The reality though is that there are many  less obvious experiences that can be traumatic and that have the potential to seriously disrupt our lives. "Trauma has become so commonplace that most people don't even recognize its presence. It affects everyone. Each of us has had a traumatic experience at some point in our lives, regardless of whether it left us with an obvious case of post-traumatic stress. " Peter Levine

Some experiences are obviously traumatic, but things like dealing with a serious illness in yourself or a family member, the breakup of an important relationship, the death of someone you love, or losing a job or leaving a community that's very important to you can be traumatic. Our life´s move with an incredible pace, often in environments that are constantly overstimulating us and forcing us to push, thrive and override. Integration is often missing.

Why Yoga?

"Traumatic symptoms are not caused by the event itself. They arise when the energy, mobilised to meet an extreme or life-threatening event, is not fully discharged and integrated. This energy remains trapped in the nervous system where it can wreak havoc on our bodies and minds.” Peter Levine

The body knows how to heal and regulate itself, when it is given the opportunity and the space to heal. Trauma is physiological, it is body based and yoga is a body-based work and therefor an incredible way to support the body in it´s capacity to heal.  Moreover, yoga, as a healing form, has been widely promoted by Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk, renowned researcher and trauma expert, as one of the top 2 modalities of healing Post – Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Yoga is a a wonderful tool, because yoga can help us in gaining  a greater awareness of:

  • The qualitiy of our breath

  • Our bodies

  • Our nervous system

  • The here and the now


 

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content & photos @ Lisa Mikosch 2021