Trauma-informed yoga for women has been implemented in juvenile centers, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals for victims of abuse and trauma.
In fact, this yoga study demonstrates significant changes in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) scores and other areas of well-being.
How trauma-informed yoga can help with PTSD and trauma
Trauma-informed yoga is slightly different from regular gym yoga. It is more focused on mindfulness. This specialized yoga creation is designed to help students to feel every sensation in their bodies when they do a yoga position. As you extend and flex your muscles, regions of your brain are being rewired.
Another important difference:
Trauma-informed yoga uses a language that is invitational, in contrast to regular yoga which uses directional language.
In regular yoga, the student is focused on maintaining correct yoga forms. In trauma-informed yoga, they are focused on the sensations, practicing mindfulness.
In regular yoga, the instructor walks around the classroom or just stays in the front. In trauma-informed yoga, the instructor fully participates alongside the students.
Women who experienced trauma have experienced an abuse of power one way or another. That’s why these differences are important.
The instructors are not inviting the students to do something they are not doing themselves and that they are not forced to do anything that they are not comfortable with. They share the power with the students because they are all in it together.
If you are not able to do yoga in a class, you can also do poses that heal trauma from this article in Yoga Journal. A breakdown is also below.
Poses that heal trauma
A child’s pose is a resting pose, bringing you to the here and now. Child’s pose brings you to your center, making it incredibly relaxing and grounding.
Extended puppy pose
From a child’s pose, you lift your hips and extend your arms. This releases the tension on your shoulders where stress usually is. This pose is most helpful when you’ve been seated all day.
From extended puppy pose, you lift your hips fully, kind of like standing up but your palms are on the floor and your gaze downward. It’s also a resting pose that relieves tension. You can gently bend your knees interchangeably.
This position stretches out your spine and your legs. It also flushes out negative energies and blockages in your throat chakra.
Pyramid pose removes the tension on the hamstrings where grief energy resides. It also develops core strength and stretches your shoulders to build balance and coordination.
From downward facing-dog, put your right foot forward beside your right hand. Come up to your fingertips and straighten your right leg while gently lifting your torso to a standing position.
Chair pose lets you focus, bringing the body and mind together. It works by shifting your weight in your feet toward your heels, keeping your knees stacked. You activate your core buy hugging your belly and reaching your fingertips toward the ceiling.