Trauma-sensitive yoga can help healing

by Nancy Kochuk

Retreat Center of Maryland is offering a special workshop on teaching trauma-sensitive yoga for teachers, therapists and other health professionals who work with trauma survivors. 
 
Yoga and meditation are known to help promote healing for individuals who have experienced trauma - whether from emotional or physical abuse, sexual assault, war-time experience, natural disasters, illness or other difficult experiences. Students in trauma-sensitive classes learn how to work with the mind, body and breath in ways that foster healing, resilience, self-awareness and self-compassion. 
 
What are the hallmarks of a trauma-sensitive class? Each class is different and geared to the needs of participants, but it starts with a safe, supportive and respectful environment. Special emphasis is placed on offering options. Students must be free to make simple adjustments that make their poses more appropriate for their own bodies - as well as to opt out of any pose. Giving trauma survivors choices is a bedrock principle. 
 
Trauma-sensitive yoga practices nurture and support students and help them reestablish ownership of their bodies and minds, an essential step for healing.

Samira Shuruk