What is trauma-sensitive?
You can’t even imagine how many times I get asked that question when explaining what I do. Ever since I moved to Las Vegas to get a trauma-sensitive yoga program started, I’ve get asked that question nothing short of a ton.
Trauma-sensitive yoga is about befriending your body. It’s about becoming aware of your breath. It is about slowing down and tuning into yourself and nurturing yourself and acknowledging what you have been through.
The average person often can go through life, just going through the motions. But those who have been through a traumatic experience, such as combat, re-experience these events to a great extent. They get stuck in a place and time, not feeling sure about the present. When something negative happens, a traumatized person will tend to try and block it out and avoid it. However, avoidance can sometimes lead people to pick hazardous ways to deal with their flashbacks and feelings.
Trauma-sensitive yoga teaches us that we are not our experiences. Distress and negative feelings are a normal response to an abnormal situation. This is usually the hardest part to accept. When speaking to veterans, the common reaction is they feel their PTSD signals something wrong with them, and it’s their fault they aren’t processing their experiences “correctly”.
But there is no correct way to handle combat. Rather, there are ways that are destructive, and ways that can reshape and rebuild in a positive way. Trauma-Sensitive yoga is one of many positive ways to help people do this.
So that is trauma-sensitive yoga in a nutshell. Movements and breathing tools to reconnect with ourselves.
But words can only explain it so well, it is about getting out there and experiencing it.