“Body-based work, such as yoga, may act as a treatment bridge, increasing a sense of awareness, safety and mastery over one’s body while building skills to effectively interpret and tolerate physiological and affective states. Yoga, one of the top ten most widely practiced forms of complementary alternative medicine in the United States, incorporates techniques of breathing exercises, physical postures, movement, relaxation and mindfulness.”
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He has pioneered the use of Yoga as a therapy that is helping these individuals to work through their PTSD and regain a sense of mastery. He discusses mind-body connections in trauma, how Yoga works and precautions for teaching trauma-sensitive Yoga students.
“I teach a private class for a group of people affected by PTSD. One of them brings his service dog, who is trained to support his man by providing a calming presence (there is probably way more to it than that, but this is brief and to the point…) During class the dog lies quietly beside the man, breathing deeply and surrendering to the support of the Earth, giving us all a gentle reminder to do the same.
A big part of the class is Restorative Yoga, the favourite pose being Reclining Bound Angle in which the dog sometimes acts as a prop for his man, allowing him to rest one bent leg on his sturdy body, providing not only the physical support required to let go fully in this pose, but also an unconditionally loving, anchoring and grounding presence… Today I was moved to tears as I witnessed this deep and beautiful connection between these two. I am truly grateful…” ~S. Mills
Yogareseach: The power of possiblity kripalu.org