What is Trauma-Informed Yoga? (+5 Trauma-Informed Poses)
The current blogpost will be discussing what trauma-informed yoga is. We will also be going through the main advantages of Trauma-Informed Yoga and showing you what you can expect from these sessions. Lastly, we will be listing the best Trauma-Informed Yoga poses.
What is Trauma-Informed Yoga?
Trauma-Informed Yoga is a specific form of yoga which is specifically tailored to help those who have gone through trauma in the past. In this form of yoga, the main aim of the exercises is healing from the trauma.
In Trauma-Informed Yoga, the people in the group are encouraged to use specific strategies to improve the awareness of their body and body movements. These techniques are also meant to decrease the feelings of disconnection which are pretty common after going through any trauma.
Trauma-Informed Yoga is also called Trauma-Sensitive Yoga and can be helpful for all types of trauma, both small and big. Through these sessions, the person will be able to healthily vent and express their stressful emotions.
Advantages of Trauma-Informed Yoga
Trauma-Informed Yoga can bring numerous advantages and benefits to anyone who has gone through any type of trauma in the past. The different advantages that Trauma-Informed Yoga can bring to a person have been discussed in the following section.
The instructors are trained to detect trauma
Trauma-Informed Yoga instructors are different from regular yoga instructors. These instructors are trained to understand trigger factors which can set off panic attacks and anxiety attacks in their clients who have undergone trauma in the past.
Apart from detecting trigger factors, Trauma-Informed Yoga instructors are also aware of common mental health strategies and techniques and help them clients improve their mental health through these methods.
There are both one-on-one and group sessions
Most regular yoga sessions are conducted through a group. However, in Trauma-Informed Yogasessions, there are both group sessions as well as one-on-one sessions available which can suit different types of mental health needs.
The sessions are aimed at reducing stress
The main aim of Trauma-Informed Yoga sessions is to immediately reduce the stress levels of the participants, particularly if a certain trigger factor has been stimulated. Through deep breathing and meditative practices, the stress levels of trauma survivors can be reduced.
It improves body-awareness
Apart from just reducing the stress levels of trauma survivors, Trauma-Informed Yoga can also help in improving the body awareness of the participants. A better body-awareness can lead to better self-regulation which is important for healing from trauma.
Trauma-Informed Yoga can improve sleep
Through Trauma-Informed Yoga, sleep patterns and behaviors can also improve in the person. Through relaxing yoga practices, the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated which is responsible for reducing stress levels in the person.
It can help with dissociation
Furthermore, Trauma-Informed Yoga can also help with dissociation which is a common symptom of emotional trauma. Dissociation can be pretty anxiety inducing, but through Trauma-Informed Yoga the person can be brought back to the present.
It can be great for self-esteem
Another advantage of Trauma-Informed Yoga is that it can improve self-esteem levels. As the person gradually learns to use their own coping skills to gain better control over their traumatic experiences, their self-esteem levels increase slowly and steadily.
What to expect from Trauma-Informed Yoga?
Trauma-Informed Yoga sessions are a little different from regular yoga sessions. In this section of the post, we have mentioned the different things that you can expect from Trauma-Informed Yoga sessions.
- The yoga instructors for these sessions are familiar with mental health conditions and their major signs and symptoms. They are also aware of medications and other interventions that their participants might be undergoing.
- The instructors are trained to detect any trigger factors that might set off anxiety and panic attacks in their participants. They are also trained to keep note of different trigger factors in different participants.
- The environment in which these yoga sessions occur will be safe and also very predictable and comfortable enough. The participants do not have to fear new and unexpected things during their sessions and can easily get comfortable.
- The participants have way more control over their yoga sessions here. This means that they can stop the sessions at any time they wish to and can restart whenever they want to. This makes the environment even safer for the participants.
- When compared to regular yoga, Trauma-Informed Yoga does not place too much importance on the perfection of the poses. Instead, the participants are encouraged to simply improve the awareness of their bodies and their mental processes.
- Apart from giving a safe and predictable environment, the temperature of the place during which the yoga sessions are conducted will be constantly maintained at a cool temperature. When the temperatures go up too high, it can trigger anxiety episodes.
- Yoga tends to use a lot of breathing exercises and techniques, which are meant to elate or deflate the mood and affect. In Trauma-Informed Yoga, not all breathing exercises will be used and only those which are relaxing will be practiced.
- Another thing to expect from a Trauma-Informed Yoga practitioner is simple and comfortable language. The trainers in these sessions ensure that everyone is given a chance to express and vent and do not follow a one-size fits all method.
- Yoga is usually about holding certain postures for a long period of time. In Trauma-Informed Yoga, the postures are not held for too long periods of time and are only used as a way to improve body awareness and improve regulation.
- During Trauma-Informed Yoga sessions, the trainer may not actively touch the participant without their permission. This is even if the person may need help in the posture or the breathing exercise.
This is important since survivors of trauma would not like being touched since it can be a trigger factor for an anxiety or a panic attack. The trainer may ask the participant for their permission before they touch them or simply use cue words to retrain them.
- The environment in which Trauma-Informed Yoga sessions are conducted is not only safe and comfortable, but the way in which the participants sit also differs. For example, a circle is not preferred in Trauma-Informed Yoga since it can increase anxiety.
Best Trauma-Informed Yoga Poses
Not all yoga poses are great for trauma survivors, and certain yoga poses can act as trigger factors. The best Trauma-Informed Yoga poses are:
- Standing poses which require both feet to be placed firmly on the ground are considered safe in nature. However, those standing poses which need more complex work and high flexibility might be avoided in Trauma-Informed Yoga.
- All types of Warrior Poses are generally considered safe for Trauma-Informed Yoga. Apart from improving strength in lower limbs, warrior poses can also be great for flexibility and also boosting self-esteem.
- Planks are also considered pretty safe for Trauma-Informed Yoga. Planks can be great for improving self-discipline and also contribute well to core strength and lower back strength.
- The Mountain Pose is also considered safe and used often in Trauma-Informed Yoga. This Pose can improve hip flexibility and also improves the strength of upper-limbs and is pretty easy to learn.
- Certain gentle twists are also considered pretty safe for Trauma-Informed Yoga. These can improve the overall flexibility of the body and also the agility of the person.
While maintaining these poses, the trainers will be encouraging the person to continuously breathe in and out rhythmically. This can help in bringing down stress levels and also improving mental health in general.
The current blogpost has discussed what trauma-informed yoga is. We will also be going through the main advantages of Trauma-Informed Yoga and shown you what you can expect from these sessions. Lastly, we have listed the best Trauma-Informed Yoga poses.
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