The reactions to threats and their accompanying physical and psychological pain are a fundamental aspect of survival. The search for safety is essential to give the individual the opportunity to recuperate and heal the physical and emotional traumas that arose from the feeling of danger.
A trauma does not occur in the mind or body – it has an effect on your entire being. Since the triggers are frequently found within yourself, you feel flooded by emotions and sensations or even numb and cut off. Your body reacts as if the danger still existed – the body is not a safe place. Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TSY) as an element of a comprehensive, gentle trauma therapy is a body-oriented approach that uses the wisdom of the mind and body to heal traumas. The mindful and gentle yoga practice helps in regaining body awareness, being in the here and now , and observing without reacting – which is a basic precondition for facing the traumatic memories. Consciously performed postures (asanas) and breath exercises (pranayama) regulate the nervous system and help you to feel better grounded, stronger, and calmer. This allows you to attain more control over your thoughts, emotions, and physical reactions.
Statements by participants:
“Despite the stress in the group setting, I have had the experience of how strongly ‘doing’ things together connects us: being in a safe framework and without the pressure of having to work toward a specific goal. I can't remember ever having felt like I belonged to a group and was accepted. For me, doing yoga meant a safe ground and a place in a group that didn't overwhelm me."
"Even though the group is small, I still have a hard time when it comes to relaxing; but it was also great that we can laugh together. I'm happy that everyone is busy with themselves and I don't feel like anyone is watching me – not even the instructor. Over time, it has become easier for me to be in the group."