Intermediate Sitting Poses for Trauma Survivors

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Intermediate Sitting Poses for Trauma Survivors

yoga teacher training courseBy Bhavan Kumar

A well rounded and regular practice of Yoga poses and pranayama exercises can be a great resource for trauma survivors to engage in healing and resolving their traumatic experiences. Practicing Yoga well, irregardless of how the pose looks, demands presence and breath. Maintaining a mindful awareness or presence throughout your Yoga practice will help you to become aware of feeling and sensations that may have lain dormant or under your conscious awareness for many years. Bringing these thoughts, feelings and emotions to the surface during your Yoga practice will help you to unravel the “stickiness” of the memories.

If you maintain a mindful witness consciousness of the memories, you will create distance by witnessing the memories instead of identifying with them. In this way, Yoga will help you to integrate your traumatic experienced in a more balanced way. Over time, this awareness, integration and resolution will lift a great burden from your body, mind and spirit. Intermediate sitting poses will help you to enhance your level of flexibility and also will help you to slow down and witness your thoughts and emotions as you do the Yoga poses.

There are intermediate sitting Yoga poses that are more physically challenging than others. There are also intermediate sitting Yoga asanas that are often more emotionally challenging for trauma survivors than physically challenging. If a trauma survivor has suffered sexual abuse, sitting Yoga postures such as Fire Log Pose and even Child’s Pose will provide an opportunity to release deeply held tension in the hips and groin area. These poses will also provide an opportunity for a trauma survivor to set boundaries and choose not to practice a particular pose during any given Yoga session. This act of self-determination is empowering in and of itself and will be therapeutically beneficial for a trauma survivor.

Revolved Head to Knee Pose

Revolved Head to Knee Pose is a great intermediate Yoga pose for opening up the heart, throat, neck and shoulder areas. It also keeps the lower body limber. To practice Revolved Head to Knee Pose, sit on your Yoga mat with your legs straight out in front of you. Place your right foot flush up against the inside of your left thigh. With your next inhale, raise your arms over your head. With your next exhale, bring your arms forward and place your right hand on your left knee, ankle or on the outside of your ankle, depending on your level of flexibility. Stretch your left arm back behind you at shoulder height with your palm facing away from you. Hold for three to five breaths and repeat on the other side.

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