With the coming of Veteran’s Day, I can’t help but reflect on the time I spent at Omega for a Veteran’s Retreat hosted by the Venerable Claude Anshin Thomas. He is a brilliant, compassionate monk and Vietnam Veteran. Here are some Yoga suggestions for working with peope with trauma.
- Encourage Dirga Pranayama and Ujjayi to soothe the nervous system
- Use touch sparingly and only with enthusiastic verbal consent. Do not approach from behind or surprise. Enter the student’s space mindfully and slowly.
- Avoid deep backbends. Think of containing prana. Instead practice grounding, face down backbends like salambasana, bhujangasana, salamba bhujangasana.
- Standing strength poses for stability and empowerment – tadasana, virabhadrasana I and II.
- Sprinkle in balance postures such as vrikasana and garudasana.
- Apply gentle supported forward folds. Use lots of props. Be mindful of low back injuries or too much introspection.
- Close with Yoga Nidra.
Yoga heals. Those who have experienced trauma benefit from contemplatve healing practices and somatic therapy. Yoga offers both. I hope you enjoy this and would love to hear from you.