Yoga heals trauma. It works.
Less than 5 years ago I had debilitating PTSD that I had been struggling with since I was 19 & experienced severe trauma. I had nightmares every night & flashbacks every day. Panic attacks were a daily event, happening throughout the day & every time I heard the sound of an ambulance. I had dropped out of school, gained weight, started drinking a lot & gotten arrested several times. There were actual physical scars on my brain & I thought that I was permanently damaged.
Yoga isn't a magic pill or an easy button though. You have to actually do work. You don't just buy cute yoga pants, do a few down dogs & get better. THIS is how I healed myself from trauma & got my life back.
First, the breathing exercises helped me to control & calm my panic attacks. Pranayama, the breathing techniques of yoga are scientifically proven to manage stress & get you out of flight or fight mode (your sympathetic nervous system). Where the mind goes, the breath follows. Control the breath, control the mind. This was step one in getting my power back.
Then, the somatic experiencing that happens in an asana practice when you notice & connect to sensations in the body, instead of pushing them away, let me release the trauma being stored in my body. The body always keeps the score. The issues are in the tissues. We remember in our bones. We hold the imprint of our experiences.
The built-in discipline system of yoga snapped me out of addiction & the new found sensitivity in my body caused me to start eating better.
Meditation made me less reactive & more patient. It is actively rewiring my brain chemistry, making new patterns where I used to think permanent scars were.
I stopped living in the past & started paying attention to what is happening right now. That caused me to awaken in ways that I wasn't expecting & to start caring a lot about other humans, the planet & my connection to it all. Stone by stone, I have rebuilt the foundation of my life with this practice as my guide. I am here to tell you that much like any recovery program, it works if you work it. Show up. Do the work.
#yogahealstrauma #dowork #yogaeverydamnday