Yoga and Trauma

The exercise of yoga presents a platform for body-based intervention with trauma survivors. Yoga-based interventions incorporate physical movement and restorative action patterns into treatment. This strategy helps trauma survivors build internal strengths and resources in an embodied manner. It builds up the necessary mechanisms to cope with stressful situations through resilience and strength. Yoga is at the frontier of trauma treatment in promoting mind/body healing.

Before moving on, we should understand the definition of trauma.

There are several different forms of trauma that include, but are not limited to (i) natural disasters, (ii) mass interpersonal violence, (iii) large-scale transportation accidents, (iv) house or other domestic fires, (v) motor vehicle accidents, (vi) sexual assault, (vii) stranger physical assault, (viii) partner battery and emotional abuse, (ix) torture, (x) war, (xi) child abuse, (xii) exposure of emergency workers to trauma, and (xiii) major accidents or illness.

Sometimes pharmacological treatments are not enough for these traumas, so they are best supplemented with non-pharmacological techniques to ensure people to regulate their internal state and response to external stressors. The science of yoga includes several practices such as physical postures (asanas), voluntary regulated breathing (pranayamas), meditation, conscious sensory withdrawal (pratyahara), and philosophical principles.

When people endure any form of trauma, they find difficulty in restoring their sense of balance. Through yoga, people can rectify their well-being and strengthen their internal well-being to align and bond their mental, spiritual and physical states. This form of unification develops into a state of wholesomeness. Anecdotal data and clinical observation emphasize the promise of yoga as a viable approach to build self-regulatory capacity of traumatized youth.

Trauma is a part of the journey in life. Through implementation of yoga, we all commit to a journey of finding inner-peace, healing our feelings, and understanding our emotions.

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