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Mental Health

Healing with Yoga

When practiced with awareness, yoga hols immense potential to help support healing on all level.

For many, being embodied and thinking about the body is no easy task. Every time we step onto our mats, a courageous act is committed.

A willingness to turn towards ourselves, instead away from ourselves.

A willingness to notice sensation.
A willingness to experience emotion.
A willingness to be fully present.
A willingness to face it all with an open heart.
A willingness to feel what needs to be felt.
A willingness to heal.

The practice of yoga — union of mind, body, heart, & soul — asks us to fearlessly examine the parts of ourselves, our lives, and our world that are not in union. It requires us to be radically honest about the disconnection that exists within ourselves and the world around us.

As someone who struggled with disordered eating for many years, turning towards my body with love and curiosity was an unfamiliar idea. Being with sensation and actually noticing the complexities of my body felt like a scary territory to forge into. I perceived being disconnected from the body and spending more time in the head as “safe,” whereas reconnecting with my body and its sensations felt “unsafe.”

While this is common for individuals living with trauma, a vital ingredient in healing one’s relationship to the body is reconnecting to it.

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Bessel Van Der Kolk says: “It’s great to be able to put your feelings into words, and to feel that somebody understands your suffering is enormously comforting. But it doesn’t make your body know that you are safe. The real method is resetting your physiology. Yoga really attends to the body and breath, attends to stillness. It allows you to feel everything you feel, to tolerate every sensation, and to live and move with it.

When practiced with awareness, yoga holds immense potential to help support healing on all levels — emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. This ancient practice gives us the opportunity to be present with sensation, after being physically, mentally, and emotionally disconnected. By healing with yoga, we rediscover how to give ourselves permission to make choices that allow more ease and freedom in our bodies and lives.

Research shows that embodiment practices are the most effective tools for healing trauma and reconnecting to the body. Yoga Asana is an embodied practice and the poses can be safe containers to explore how mindfully shifting parts of ourselves, in the spirit of curiosity, influences our physical and emotional comfort in a given moment. Yoga allows us to become acquainted with the body’s somatic expression — of joy, pain, grief, and love — and meet all emotions with non-judgment, acceptance, and compassion.

Healing with yoga is a journey of living more fully expressed — mentally, physically, emotionally, energetically, & spiritually.

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