Yoga can build resilience and help heal old wounds

Nov 15, 2022

When your brain detects a threat, it automatically triggers an involuntary stress response in your body. This happens before your executive brain, or conscious mind, even has time to decide if the threat is real or imagined. It may even be just a memory of a threat, and you may not even know what the memory is.

Without taking the time to discern all of these things our body automatically goes into a state of fight (anger), flight (avoidance), or freeze (withdrawal).

The first awareness you have of this stress response is in the physical sensations in your body. When you can begin to recognize what you feel in your body, you can then begin to implement self-regulation tools in the moment, down regulate the stress response, and allow your executive brain to choose how to respond appropriately.

When we have experienced trauma, our brains begin to see danger in circumstances that simply remind us of our past wounds. Our body then begins to respond to this perceived danger the same way it responded to the original experience.

So what is trauma? How do we know if we’ve experienced it?

Trauma is less about the experience itself and more about an individual’s involuntary response to the circumstance. The same event may be traumatic to one person and not at all traumatic to another. Additionally, in the same circumstance, one individual may respond with fight, another with flight, and another with a freeze response.

Some examples of traumatic experiences include: accidents, injury, medical diagnosis, physical or emotional abuse, loss of a loved one, chronic stress, isolation, divorce, caregiver fatigue, financial insecurity, difficult relationships, feelings of abandonment, not feeling seen or heard, not feeling like our basic needs are being met, global pandemics - I think that pretty much covers everyone.

We’ve all experienced trauma in our lives. We all have old wounds, some deeper than others.

Using the tools and practices of yoga, we can begin to build resilience and heal these wounds. These tools can help you recognize the physical sensations you feel when triggered by an experience, allow you to become aware of how your body is responding to the stressor, restore balance in your nervous system so that you can cope with your body response, so that you can choose how to respond appropriately to any circumstance.

As a yoga therapist I teach you to incorporate these tools into your everyday life. Some for just a few minutes at a time, maybe several times a day. Any time you feel your body moving into that stress response, so you are empowered to take control of your automatic reaction and choose a response that serves your highest good. We begin to teach our bodies and teach our minds through practice and experience that right here and right now we have everything we need and we are safe.

Interested in learning more? I'd love to schedule a discovery call to see if yoga therapy is the next step on your healing journey. ❤️

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