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Yoga Therapy for Emotional Trauma
Yoga is used for different types of therapy, typically, though, for physical therapy. Those with bad backs, sore shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome and even arthritis are usually recommended for yoga therapy.
There is also, however, emotional yoga therapy that deals with healing different types of emotional trauma. Your trained yoga therapist will teach you how to give attention to the breath, and then explore your emotional healing.2 As you practice, you will see the connections between your physical and your emotional pain.
If you are interested in learning more about yoga therapy, speak with your yoga instructor.
Yogis know that the practice of yoga lends itself to emotional healing. When yogis open up certain parts of their bodies, they also release pent up emotions, frustrations, worries, sorrows and the like. This part of yoga is healing to the mind as well as the body.
Yoga is used to strengthen not only the body, but to unite the mind, body and soul. If your body is out of balance, the inner psyche is affected, as is your mental wellbeing. Ana Forrest, the founder of the Forrest Yoga Circle in Santa Monica, CA, describes her yoga practice as being specifically designed to help unbury and release emotional any blocks.1
Yoga is therapeutic on a very basic level because the it makes people feel better and more whole. Their senses of well-being emerge from the practice. However, as she points out, there is much more to it than that. When a yogi is on the mat, oftentimes they feel the urge to cry, for what may seem like no reason at all.
This is where the emotional healing takes place. Opening the body, physically, allows us to open the body emotionally and spiritually, letting emotions out. Yogis often feel very emotional during certain poses, like pigeon, when the hips open. Allowing these feelings to release can truly bring about serenity in your life, and your yoga practice.
Another wonderful pose that will help release emotions is child's pose. In child's pose, anxiety is lessened. For anyone who has ever had a panic attack, child's pose can help to reduce anxiety, stress and bring calmness to the body.2
And of course savasana (a pose everyone looks forward to) is wonderful for allowing emotions, and tensions, to leave the body.
Emotional healing is a bonus that yoga gives; while you are building flexibility and muscle tone, you are also shaping a truly centered inner self, too, which is the purpose for most yogis.
The two components of yoga--body and mind, are so interconnected that you will find many doctors and therapists suggesting yoga to overcome anxiety and depression.
1. Yoga Journal. “Yoga for Emotional Trauma.”
2. Yoga Journal. “Yoga vs. Yoga Therapy.”
3. My Yoga Online. “5 Poses to Heal Emotional Pain and Calm the Mind.”