This workshop is a safe space to build awareness and to identify coping mechanisms and tools to help shed layers of anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress, and fragility.
Sometimes we just need to learn how.
Maya certified trauma sensitive yoga teacher Diana Reed shares more insight on yoga and PTSD.
Yoga and PTSD:: Diana Reed
Trauma comes to us in many different forms; car accidents, abuse, war or natural disaster. We may come out on the other side thinking we handled it well and are ready to move on with our lives. But then another incident, close call, or person we don’t recognize can trigger the exact same response we had when the initial trauma occurred. This is the simplified face of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk of the Trauma Center at JRI in Brookline, Massachusetts, confirms that the physical body stores the information of trauma and stays ready to suffer it again. We may “think” we have moved on, but our bodies can stiffen unexpectedly, heart race and sweat pour off of us at just the idea we may become a victim again.
Parts of our brain, such as the amygdala located in the temporal lobe, can override any rationalization we may be making, even before we have a chance to make it. Our neocortex, or thinking brain, is hijacked by this almond shaped mass. A part of the limbic system and a crucial part of our survival instinct, the amygdala is invaluable. Yet when it perceives a threat (because it isn’t a “thinking” structure) it can kick in and cause us to react before we can analyze. When this pattern repeats over and over, the brain adapts, shutting off “normal” responses. Eventually, dissociation can occur and the trauma victim begins to “check out”, unable to process emotion constructively. Sense of safety is compromised and the body stays poised and ready for future assaults.
Yoga aids in the re-wiring process as well. Traumatic imprinting is replaced slowly and gradually and over time, with positive imprints that remind the student he or she can in fact move forward. Returning over and over to an environment that is safe allows her to process that the past has passed, and safety is a present reality.