Research demonstrates Yoga reduces symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and insomnia and unhappy mood that accompanies depression. As we practice yoga, we lower the stress hormone cortisol, raise GABA levels, a neurotransmitter that protects us from anxiety and depression. We elevate our oxytocin levels, the “bonding” hormone that allows us to feel more connected to others
Most of us have been traumatized by an event in our lives. That doesn’t mean we suffer from PTSD. Statistics vary, but it is estimated that the same event may induce PTSD in 20 – 40% of those involved, while 60 – 80% recover quickly. The disorder can occur because the traumatizing event might link back to earlier traumas that may or may not be remembered. Or there may be a predisposition due to other factors like depression and anxiety.
For a free LifeForce Yoga Bliss Meditation to soothe and calm the chakra system, please read on…
Yoga in general, and LifeForce Yoga in particular, can safely and gently help you reclaim your birthright—your own natural state of optimum mental health, reducing feelings of fear, anger, anxiety and depression and the hyper-arousal symptoms of PTSD. The language used in leading LifeForce Yoga practices has been vetted by hundreds of LifeForce Yoga Practitioners who work in trauma recovery so that it is soothing and less apt to trigger panic, stress or a flashback. There are adaptions of practices so that those with a history of trauma can feel secure in the knowledge that they are at low risk for a trigger and at high risk for recovery. In fact, studies have shown that the symptoms of PTSD are reduced by regular yoga practice.
One out of three women and one out of five men have been sexually traumatized. For those of us who have experienced sexual trauma, it may not feel safe to live in the body, and we develop protective ways of living, often from the neck up. Yoga can be a gentle way to reclaim our bodies for ourselves. The practice of yoga allows us to witness what is arising in the body-mind, with less reactivity, so we are able to respond to life’s challenges without reacting to them.
Here are some resources:
The LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues, Level 1 DVD, features gentle movement with attention to sensation. It can be found here.
Breath awareness practices and training from my first CD, Breathe to Beat the Blues, is here.
Yogic breathing called pranayama, begins to clear the constrictions we may have around the everyday challenges we face. We can feel more expansive and spacious within, and more connected to others without.
My LifeForce Yoga Chakra Clearing CD, available here, features more calming practices with accessible tools like mudras (hand gestures), mantras, and visualizations.
My LifeForce Yoga Yoga Nidra CD, features guided meditations that progressively release tension in the muscular, emotional, and mental systems. Yoga Nidra, means Yogic sleep, and reminds me of who I truly am, beneath the current mood or the stiffness in my body. It’s wonderful for sleep hygiene. Listen to a free recording here, and find the CD here.
Amy Weintraub, founder of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute, offers free video practices on her YouTube channel, so subscribe today. She has authored a book for professionals, Yoga Skills for Therapists, in addition to her primary book for everyday practitioners and those new to Yoga, Yoga for Depression.