Benefits of Yoga:
While there are many benefits associated with yoga, we have listed some of the key benefits below:
- Increased physical strength
- Enhanced body posture
- Feeling more energized
- Benefits related to the digestive system
- Enhanced sleep
- Greater balance (physically and mentally)
- A calm mind
- Greater ability to concentrate
- Reduced levels of stress and anxiety
- Greater positivity and self-acceptance
- Connection of the body, mind and spirit
Yoga and Trauma:
When we practice yoga, we often experience different feelings and sensations. For instance, we may become overwhelmed by feelings of happiness, sadness, emotional pain, and vulnerability. In fact, many people become emotional throughout their yoga practices as they connect with themselves on a deeper level. A significant part of yoga involves connecting to our physical and emotional selves. However, for people who have experienced trauma or sexual abuse, the body may not feel like a safe place. As a result, it is important to continuously check-in with yourself throughout your yoga practices.
While we do not necessarily want to avoid the unpleasant feelings within our bodies, it is important to connect with ourselves at our own pace. If the body has been an unsafe place for you in the past, we would encourage to try and take your power back. This is your body and it is beautiful and amazing.
Key Aspects to Remember:
- Yoga is a personal journey that involves self-exploration and self-compassion. Try not to compare yourself to others as yoga looks different for everyone.
- Remember – yoga is not about flexibility!
- Yoga is about being present and listening to your body.
- Yoga should never be painful, while you may experience discomfort at times, you should stop a pose immediately if you feel pain.
- Yoga is intertwined with mindfulness and meditation practices. Challenge yourself to be present in each moment. This will help you become more attuned to your body and the different sensations.
Before you get started with your own yoga practice, we want to make sure that you are setting yourself up for success. As a result, we recommend the following:
- Try not to do yoga on a completely empty stomach as you could become lightheaded and/or dizzy throughout your practice.
- Prepare a quiet space for yourself where you will not be interrupted.
- Make sure you have a yoga mat ready along with any other props you wish to use for your session.
- Wear comfortable clothing (jeans are not recommended!).
- Have a water bottle nearby and take breaks throughout your practice as needed.
- Incorporate any additional materials you may wish to have available for your yoga practice. This may include a diffuser with a specific scented oil or a particular yoga playlist.