Eight million Americans are suffering from PTSD right now. A severe trauma, like that experienced in war, mass shootings, rapes, or physical and mental assaults, can lead to debilitating anxiety and depression.
Many victims are turning to trauma-centered yoga to find help.
“I’m an incest survivor. I just discovered a book in my elementary school library that had pictures of yoga poses,” shared Rowan Silverberg, PhD, Mind/Body Medicine.
From there, Silverberg began her lifelong study of yoga.
“I think it really kept me sane and kept me alive,” Silverberg continued.
Now, with a PhD in Mind-Body medicine, she focuses her research on trauma center, trauma-sensitive yoga.
“The practice is really about giving that person control back,” explained Silverberg.
She offers her students choices which empowers them to begin making choices in other areas of their lives. Kimberly, Nina, and Drew are using trauma sensitive yoga to help them.
“I was in a bike accident. I lost the ability to talk and work,” shared Nina Minchow.
“My twin sister died in a car accident,” explained Kimberly Ghorai.
“I was just lost,” said Drew Mikita.
All three believe it helped them. The differences between traditional yoga and TCTSY? First, poses are not forced. Options are key.
“Would you prefer to sit with your legs crossed or would you prefer to stretch one leg out,” Silverberg said is asked.
There’s no touching.
“I don’t correct anybody’s alignment,” stated Silverberg.
Research with PTSD patients is proving it works to decrease dissociation and flashbacks while improving self-regulation.
“Unless people are connected to their internal compass, they can’t really heal,” continued Silverberg.
“It’s allowed me to process some of the things that I didn’t think I would ever get over,” shared Drew.
Two other differences, in TCTSY, you don’t have to close your eyes or lay in traditional savasana, as the stillness may trigger flashbacks or anxiety.
There are 500 certified TCTSY instructors throughout the world. All have backgrounds as therapists, psychotherapists, and social workers.