Healing Trauma Through Yoga & Meditation
The Mind Body Connection
When we hold on to any type of lower energetic emotions, such as fear, anger, anxiety, and depression, it affects us on a cellular level. Scientists have long known we could detect imbalances in the subtle energy field before they became apparent in the physical body. Imbalances in our energy system can cause disruption in our mental, physical and spiritual Self.
Chronic stress or trauma can cause us to feel these lower energetic emotions and if we stay in this space for too long we are at risk for illness and even disease. It can manifest into mental and physical illness, pain in the body and even tension in our relationships with others.
It’s not your fault, trauma keeps us in that state of being – in survival – changing the way our brain functions and leaving us with an imbalanced nervous system. It’s necessary to learn new ways of living to align with your ‘now’ in order to heal.
At the root of these issues is an imbalanced nervous system. Trauma or chronic stress is responsible for pushing your nervous system beyond its limits and derailing your health.
The stress can contribute to mental, emotional, physical and spiritual deficiencies, specifically in that order. Your body has been attempting to adapt and has always been on your side. It is not failing you, as many people feel. It is simply stuck in a state that only allows it to focus on your immediate survival.
Our body has a way of telling us what our mind talks us out of. Learning to tune in to our body can be very powerful and life-changing. CAUTION – side effects of listening and tuning into the body can cause healthier decision-making and improve relationships and overall quality of life!
We all have a ‘knowing’ within that tells us the sensations of our body. However, if we’ve experienced trauma it is very often that we can second guess our intuition our gut, our knowing. So what now?
With the power of Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness-Yoga and Energy Healing, our bodies can be reclaimed through connection, compassion, kindness and unconditional love. This is the teaching that yoga can bring, realigning and reclaiming our nervous system on an energetic cellular level.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a common type of talk therapy, can be a very effective way to assist in healing trauma, as it helps us to find balance in our thinking patterns and re-conceptualize understanding of traumatic experiences, as well as understanding of ourselves and our ability to cope. When we use CBT it is typically structured and focuses on increasing awareness into our negative or irrational thoughts and our thinking patterns in challenging our stressful situations. It’s based on the idea that our thoughts influence our feelings and emotions. It is to assist in helping us use logic and reason to view these situations more clearly in order to help us respond and react in positive, more effective ways.
However, CBT on its own sometimes is just not enough to heal trauma. We can talk all day but if we don’t address the body, not much will happen. It’s not your fault. When something traumatic happens, the brain functions differently.
Logic and reason are good things, as utilized with a CBT approach, yet they’re not super helpful when we’re activated by trauma. Not being able to be logical when activated by trauma is no ones fault, it’s neurobiology. The part of our brain called the frontal lobe helps us with logic and reason, yet it can be shutdown when our bodies perceive we are in danger. This is called the trauma response, but trauma is not stored in the frontal lobe.
Trauma is stored in our limbic system, which is concerned with sensory input and sends out emotional responses, concerned with alerting us if we’re in danger. Trauma doesn’t know time and can get stuck in this alert mode, keeping our nervous system ON. It’s also a part of the brain that is created, shaped and reshaped in relationships.
So if the frontal lobe is shut down, and the limbic system is activated, what can help? Connection.
It can be connection to our environment, to our surroundings, to our bodies, to compassionate parts of ourselves or to another living thing, such as another person in which we trust.
Healing trauma through tuning into and addressing the body in part of other modalities of treatment needs to happen. A lot of times there is a struggle with healing from trauma, and it’s a good reminder that your body is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. It is protecting you. A little work on re-calibrating the alarm system can help your body understand that you are no longer in danger, that you are safe.
Through utilizing Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness-Yoga we can find healing in our energy system and reclaim what is ours. Yoga itself means union, to yoke, to connect, bringing together the mind, body, spirit. Yoga scientifically increases a sense of gratitude, oneness, compassion, empathy, emotion regulation and stress tolerance. It’s an Art of your own in which you learn, understand, develop, practice and embody.
The teachings and skills developed can help move you towards a very high energetic loving level internally, which your body is craving and needing to calm that activated part of the brain that is keeping your nervous system in high alert. Empowering, grounding, centering and securing you. These are all things our limbic system can understand and once we help the limbic system to calm and acknowledge there is no present danger, the frontal lobe can turn back on and then we can logic and reason again.
With the use of these ancient forms of healing, integrating sensitive understanding, connection and aspects of the Self, we can rediscover new ways of being to realign with our needs in the present moment in order to heal.
- David E. & Elizabeth H. PhD, 2011- Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga- Reclaiming Your Body
- Yoga-Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Y-CBT) for Anxiety Management: A Pilot Study
- Lisa C, 2018- The Art of Psychic Reiki