We store memories in our mind and in our body. To protect ourselves, we may shut down parts of ourselves – including our bodies. We may deny ourselves the opportunity to feel and connect with others physically. We do this because it helped to keep us safe – to protect ourselves from the hurt and pain that we experienced. However, we live most fully when we are connected to our mind, body, and spirit.
Yoga helps to promote mindfulness and relaxation, important aspects that help you to learn to deal with negative feelings like stress and anxiety. It also promotes an invaluable reconnection with one’s body. Following a traumatic event, many people may experience a dissociation or lack of connection with their own body. Learning relaxation techniques and muscle control can help relieve the tension and stress that one may hold onto after a traumatic event.
“For someone to heal from PTSD, one must learn how to control bodily reflexes. PTSD causes memory to be stored at a sensory level in the body. Yoga offers a way to reprogram automatic physical responses…What is beautiful about Yoga is that it teaches us-and this is a critical point for those who feel trapped in their memory sensations-that things come to an end.”–Bessel van der Kolk, MD, Trauma Specialist