Why Yoga Therapy?

Is 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. Yoga is a promising treatment or adjunctive therapy for addressing the cognitive, emotional, and physiological symptoms associated with trauma.

Trauma affects the entire human body (body, mind, and spirit). To reduce the affects of trauma, the whole body must be engaged in the healing process. Traditional trauma therapy is talk-based and focuses on the mind, the story, tending to neglect the physical, visceral, and body-based dimension of trauma. Yoga, when skillfully employed, can uniquely address the physical needs of a trauma survivor, and provide a way for a trauma survivor to cultivate a friendly relationship to his or her body through gentle breath and movement practices. 

Source: International Journal of Yoga Therapy. Yoga Therapy in Practice Trauma-Sensitive Yoga: Principles, Practice, and Research David Emerson, E-RYT, Ritu Sharma, PhD, Serena Chaudhry, Jenn Turner Trauma Center at Justice Resource Center, Brookline, MA