One Breath Trauma Informed Yoga
Finding Safety Within
One Breath Trauma Informed Yoga is a unique combination of Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY), which was developed for the adjunct treatment of complex trauma, Kripalu yoga, and my training as a psychologist. It focuses on safety, choice-making, mindfulness practices, a mind-body connection, and the activation of a parasympathetic (relaxing) nervous system.
Complex Trauma is a repeated exposure to traumatic events which are often interpersonal in nature and can lead to alterations in one’s sense of self, consciousness, ability to regulate emotions, relationships and physiological state.
When a person experiences trauma, especially repeated traumatic events, one's body can be in a constant "fight/flight" mode, as if the light switch is always on. Learning how to turn the switch off or dim the light, allowing one's body to relax and cultivate internal sense of safety are important aspects of trauma recovery. Another result of repeated exposure to trauma can be a disconnection of mind and body as a way of protection. Feeling "floaty" or "un-grounded" are common experiences of survivors of trauma as dissociation becomes a way of protection from difficult reality.
Trauma informed yoga creates a space for a person to cultivate a sense of safety within. It encourages to pay attention to one's internal cues rather than focusing on external "poses." There is no "hands on assist" in Trauma informed yoga as one is in charge of their own body and their practice. Many options and choices are offered in each step of the way so one can make their own choices in their practice to develop a sense of agency rather than being forced to follow a facilitator. For example, options are offered in terms of a focus of attention besides one's breath as attending to breaths may be activating for a person who has experienced trauma or struggles with anxiety. Mindfulness practices are used to practice how to ground oneself in the present moment and to shift attention intentionally to what is helpful for that person in a particular moment.
Through the practice of trauma informed yoga, one can learn various skills, including how to relax one's body, stay present/grounded, make choices, and explore a mind-body connection.
Please read below to learn more about TCTSY and Kripalu Yoga.
Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY)
TCTSY was developed at the Trauma Center in Brookline, MA and is one of empirically supported complimentary treatment methods that modifies yoga practice to help people who struggle with complex trauma or Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Please go to their website to learn more about their program.
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health is a non-profit, educational organization that has been a leading center in yoga and mindfulness education over many years. Its mission is to serve the community and people through the practice of yoga. Please go to their website to learn more.