The Benefits of Yoga for PTSD

Trauma affects us all in one way or another, we’ve all known someone or had our own experiences with it and know that it’s affect can be very debilitating in day to day life. It can lead to feelings of helplessness, loss of control, anxiety, depression, and other complications. An article recently published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that Canada has the highest lifetime PTSD prevalence rate out of 16 countries worldwide, surprising higher even than countries like Nigeria, Brazil, and Iraq.

Traditionally, the treatment used for PTSD is a combination of exposure treatment and pharmaceutical drugs.   For some, this can work well but for others the side effects of the medications can be disconcerting and many people do not complete the exposure treatment because they may become overwhelmed and flooded with memories or dissociate which interferes with the resolution of the trauma. In order to resolve these traumatic memories the individual needs to be able to remain in the moment and manage intense physical & emotional sensations that come with the exposure treatment, this is difficult because PTSD affects the ability to regulate impulses.

A research study conducted in 2013 by the Trauma Centre in Brookline, MA looked at yoga as an adjunct treatment for PTSD. The study showed that Trauma Sensitive Yoga significantly reduces PTSD symptoms and may be able to help individuals tolerate physical and sensorial experiences associate with fear and helplessness and to increase emotional awareness and the ability to manage trigger responses.

Trauma Sensitive Yoga is a style of yoga that is specifically designed to help individuals mitigate the effects of PTSD. These classes focus on creating a safe environment for the individual to connect with their body and internal sensations. The classes consist of yoga poses, breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation techniques that help cultivate body awareness, emotional and physical regulation, release muscular tension, calm and focus the mind, regulate the nervous system, as well as practices to increase compassion and self-acceptance.

Shanti Yogi is pleased to offer a Yoga for PTSD program, starting Thursday January 19 at 4:30 p.m. To register for this program or for more information on the class please contact us at 854-2900 or shantiyogicentre@gmail.com.

To learn more about the benefits of yoga for PTSD, check-out this wonderful 9 minute video:

Sat Nam,

Jacynte Leger, CYA-E-RYT-500

Jacynte Leger has been teaching yoga in the Moncton area since 2009, she teaches weekly classes at Shanti Yogi including Yoga for PTSD and she is also one of the facilitators of Shanti Yogi’s Therapeutic Applications of Yoga program.

Leave a Reply