Trauma-sensitive yoga is useful as an add-on to therapy. Paradoxically for some people who have been unconsciously habituated to attune to others rather than themselves, practices such as yoga can be triggering as they increase awareness of one’s own bodily states which goes against the grain of attending to others and can feel unsafe. Similarly, when things go well in people’s lives or they begin to set boundaries they may feel a general sense of dread without understanding why. These are the kinds of issues I often encounter and work with in therapy.
Trauma sensitive yoga is helpful as they are not surprised when people have strong responses to turning inward and when people are triggered by being in certain positions, and especially when doing these things in the presence of others. They take things slowly and carefully and provide a safe space for inner exploration.
Anxiety can be crippling, however there are things you can do to help ease and manage it. Mindfulness techniques, often referred to as MBSR – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, have been shown to be very effective in reducing and managing stress and anxiety.
I recommend the Openground MBSR courses, run by experienced psychotherapists.
Guided relaxation exercises (audio files)
- Introduction to muscle relaxation
- Progressive muscle relaxation – long
- Progressive muscle relaxation – short
- Globe of light visualisation
- Guided imagery relaxation – beach
- Introduction to slow breathing
- Slow breathing practice
- Introduction to attentional training
- Attentional training exercise
- Passive sleep induction