Trauma Informed Yoga

Providing simple, effective and accessible tools for emotional regulation.

Why does Stepping Up offer trauma informed yoga?

The experience of one on one and/or group therapy can be overwhelming for many, especially when a person is prone to anxiety and/or shows signs of unresolved trauma.  If we can work with our clients to improve emotional and nervous system regulation and provide tools to calm down and self-regulate, our hope is that our clients will be better equipped to navigate the journey towards personal growth and healing.  We believe that yoga can help our clients better understand the connection between their mind, body and spirit and help them access their inner strength, resiliency and capacity to heal

What is TRAUMA?

A traumatic event can involve a single experience, or enduring repeated events, that completely overwhelm the individual’s ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved in that experience.  Traumatizing events can take a serious emotional toll on those involved, even if the event did not cause physical damage.  This can have a profound impact on the individual’s identity, resulting in negative impacts in mind, body and spirit.

 Components

Regardless of its source, trauma contains three common elements:

  • It was unexpected
  • The person was unprepared
  • There was nothing the person could do to stop it from happening. Simply put, traumatic events are beyond a person’s control

  The MIND, BODY and SPIRIT Connection

Historically, the approach to addressing trauma was to provide people with fragmented services that did not take into consideration the person as a whole.  There was a separation between emotional and physical well-being.  What we now know is that trauma affects the whole person; mind, body and spirit therefore recovery also has to take into consideration the person as a whole.

 How is trauma informed yoga different than ‘regular’ yoga?

  • Invitational language with lots of options and choices, including to do nothing
  • An environment that promotes feelings of safety
  • No physical assists without permission
  • The facilitator is specially trained in guiding and supporting those impacted by trauma
  • YOU get to decide what’s right for YOU!

 What will a trauma informed yoga session be like?

With your permission, the facilitator will guide and support you through focused breathing, mindfulness activities, physical yoga postures and meditation techniques.  Remember that you don’t have to do anything that you aren’t comfortable doing.  There is no judgement or expectation.

Trauma informed yoga is Not:

  • Affiliated with any religion – there is no specific belief system attached to it
  • A fitness routine or workout
  • You do NOT have to be flexible or in shape

 How will trauma informed yoga benefit you? 

A consistent yoga practice has the potential to deepen our sense of awareness and can help with:

  • Noticing and being present with emotions
  • Managing uncomfortable feelings
  • Learn tools to calm and self-soothe
  • Learn to respond rather than react
  • Reconnect and feel safe in the body
  • Create a healthy relationship with the body

 

“Yoga’s ability to touch us on every level of our being – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – makes it a powerful and effective modality for trauma survivors.”balance

 

(Source: 2013 Manitoba Trauma Information and Education Centre)

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