Trauma is an event or occurrence that impacts our sense of safety with ourselves and the world around us. It is not what occurs, that matters, it is the impact of that occurrence that determines whether or not something was traumatic for you. One of the first impacts of trauma, is a sense of disconnect and feeling unsafe. There is an overwhelm on the system and in order to survive some aspects of our functioning go ‘offline’. This can be different for each person, however, here are some examples of impact:

❑ Inability to think clearly
❑ Short term memory issues
❑ Feeling overwhelmed
❑ Feeling shut-off, or shut-down
❑ Reacting in uncharacteristic ways
❑ Feeling a sense of disconnect
❑ Easily startled
❑ Hypervigilance
❑ Racing thoughts
❑ Excessive worry or fear

Yoga can support one to come back ‘online’ in a tolerable and safe manner. It can support your healing by:

❑ Becoming a compassionate observer of your experiences
❑ Increasing awareness of your internal processes
❑ Discovering what stimulus sets off your alarm system
❑ Discovering what happens to your thoughts, feelings, and actions when an alarm is set off
❑ Increasing awareness of your body’s relationship with safety and threat over time
❑ Developing self-empathy
❑ Increasing awareness of minute shifts in being
❑ Increasing awareness of your ‘flight’ response to notice the beginnings of an impulse, rather than the loud alarms we      are accustomed to notice

The impact of trauma on the body/mind/spirt is not comfortable. It is not easy. Yoga slowly begins to:

❑ regulate the body’s response to perceived stress.
❑ modulate our stress response systems
❑ decrease physiological arousal — for example, reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and easing      respiration
❑ slow our thoughts, making each less reactive
❑ shift our body’s ‘alarm system’ towards greater regulation and wellness
❑ build tolerance and capacity for discomfort and comfort alike spirit
❑ offer tools to cope, feel calmer, and greater internal peace
❑ create a new relationship with yourself with a sense of safety within

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