A Meditative Practice to Recover From Painful Experiences

What Is Trauma-Sensitive Yoga?

Trauma-sensitive yoga (TSY) was introduced to me through the work of David Emerson, author of Trauma-Sensitive Yoga in Therapy Bringing the Body into Treatment. He says, "In TSY, we offer our clients the opportunity to do something different, namely, instead of meaning-making in our head, we are after having an experience in our body."

TSY offers a healing experience for trauma survivors and is a rich counterpart to therapy and other forms of trauma treatment. It can be facilitated in individual sessions or small groups. Trauma is stored in the body as well as the mind, and TSY can help to release the hold it has on your life, allowing you to feel grounded, whole, and free, as we are all meant to feel.

You do not need any special knowledge, skills, or experience in order to benefit from the practice of TSY. You do not need any background with yoga, and you don't have to have certain clothes or supplies. You can be any age, any body type, any gender, any ethnicity, any ANYTHING. You only need a willingness which you have already shown by being here right now.

TSY has the potential to open you up to the beauty and resilience within yourself. By developing mindfulness of your body, you become open to the vast and peaceful landscape of your own being. Your body is the window to the world of all sensations. It is the foundation of all.

Once you can observe the places in your body where you struggle, you find you have a choice—to stay in the place of struggle or choose a different course. The more you can connect with how something is, the more you become receptive to the possibility of changing it. It is about creating awareness. You are shining the light on the situation and noticing that it doesn't stay the same every time.

Just the word 'yoga' can be intimidating for many people. It might sound like something other people do—people who have a certain body type, amazing flexibility, all the right outfits. People who have something we don't have that qualifies them to participate. But the truth is, the practice of yoga comes in many forms. It is, broadly, a way of doing life. It teaches us new ways to be in a relationship with our bodies and with our world. And it offers benefits to anyone who is willing to open their mind and heart.