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Using Yoga To Heal From Trauma

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When you suffer trauma in life, there is always a healing period that follows. Sometimes, it takes you a while to be ready to heal, and sometimes you never heal fully — but there is always some sense of moving on and moving forward. As a trauma survivor, your job is to find ways to enhance that healing and embrace it, allowing it to make you a better version of yourself. One way to do that is to begin a yoga practice. Here are some tips for using yoga to heal from trauma.

Look for yoga practices dedicated to trauma survivors

Using yoga to heal from trauma is quite common, so some yoga studios have begun offering classes just for trauma survivors. There are a few reasons to prioritize attending this type of class. First, you know that the poses are going to be ones that are healing and inspirational. Second, you know that the instructor and other participants will be sensitive to your trauma. Third, you'll have the opportunity to meet other trauma survivors in these classes. Forming a network of people who can relate to you and who also share your interest in yoga will be helpful in your healing, as you'll have people to turn to for support.

Ease your way into it

Yoga is more physical than you think. Those poses can leave you pretty sore when you're not used to doing them. You don't want to start thinking of yoga as something that causes you pain or discomfort, so you really need to ease your way into it. Attend one class a week at first. Then, slowly increase to two classes, and then three. This ensures yoga can remain an outlet for your trauma, and not an additional source of trauma.

Focus on your breath and mantras

When doing yoga for the purpose of healing trauma, it's important not to focus too much on the physical, but to spend more time focusing on the mental aspect of the practice. Focus on your breathing, feeling the way each healing breath moves through you. Come up with a mantra that you can repeat in your head while holding challenging poses. That mantra could be "I am strong; I will overcome" or something of that nature. 

Yoga classes for trauma survivors will integrate a lot of these mantras and breathing techniques, which is another reason why attending such classes works well. Contact a yoga studio near you for more information on trauma-sensitive yoga.