In "The Body Keeps the Score" by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, yoga is recommended as a therapeutic practice for individuals dealing with trauma and its effects on the body and mind. Here are some reasons why yoga is advocated in the book:
Mind-Body Connection: Yoga emphasizes the connection between the mind and body through breath control, movement, and mindfulness. It helps individuals become more aware of bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts.
Regulating the Nervous System: Trauma can dysregulate the nervous system, leading to heightened arousal or numbing responses. Yoga practices, such as deep breathing and specific postures, can help regulate the autonomic nervous system, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation.
Reducing Hyperarousal: Trauma survivors often experience hypervigilance and heightened stress responses. Yoga techniques, including gentle movements and mindfulness, can help reduce hyperarousal and promote a sense of safety.
Addressing Dissociation: Trauma can lead to dissociation, a feeling of disconnection from oneself or the environment. Yoga's focus on grounding techniques and present-moment awareness can help individuals reconnect with their bodies and surroundings.
Body Awareness and Healing: Yoga encourages non-judgmental awareness of bodily sensations, fostering a sense of empowerment and self-compassion. This increased body awareness can aid in processing and releasing stored trauma.
Empowerment and Self-Regulation: Engaging in a yoga practice empowers individuals to take an active role in their healing process. It provides tools for self-regulation and coping strategies that can be utilized beyond the yoga session.
Dr. van der Kolk emphasizes the significance of mind-body interventions like yoga, which offer holistic approaches to healing from trauma. Yoga's emphasis on breath, movement, mindfulness, and body awareness aligns with the goal of helping trauma survivors regain a sense of safety, connection, and control over their bodies and minds.