Yoga Therapy For Trauma [Empowering Change]

In this video segment taken from a BDYT Q&A session, Brandt discusses how a Yoga Therapist can hold space for a client to process a traumatic experience.

Kathy: What about people that have maybe been burying their…you know, something terrible happened and they’ve just been buried.

Brandt: Yeah, it’s trauma. Yeah, this happens all the time.

Kathy: So how do they safely let it, kind of, move through them if it’s been retraumatizing them for years.

Brandt: Yeah. I mean, people have different ways of looking at that but I think that’s why people need help, because they need somebody else to hold space that’s safe for them, which is where we come in. Right?

Kathy: And you think breath work is the strongest way to help people with that?

Brandt: No. I mean, it usually comes into play. But what’s important is that they sort of…I mean, I think people, when they let the balloon out slowly, are able to handle it, right? So they have, sort of lots and lots of mini sort of recognitions, breakdowns, experiences. Even if they’re intense but they’re not the whole thing and they are completely clear that they’re in an environment where they’re being helped. You know what I mean? Where they’re safe. Even if it doesn’t feel like that to them. So just that… I mean, there’s a lot of…it’s interesting because massage therapists talk about this a lot because people have big experiences on their massage table, but they’re not purposely doing any kind of trauma work, right? They’re just sort of holding a space for the person where they can sort of physically let out their trauma. But they’re not doing any particular techniques or you know what I mean.

But in the massage community there’s a lot of talk of that because people, massage therapists, experience this and they talk about how to just sort of hold this space and keep it super safe. And so we do that except we give people practices to not only experience these things and sort of let them out as you’re saying, but then also re-ground themselves. Because that’s what gives you confidence, right? You have an experience, you relive a trauma, and then you do a practice that re-grounds you. So you might not feel awesome… but you feel like, “Oh wow, I experienced that.” Because the experience of the trauma, right, is not that. The experience of the trauma is you experience the trauma and then it was bad from then on. There’s no point where you got re-grounded. So now you’re creating a new storyline where I experience the trauma or re-experience the trauma on some level and now I’m okay, like, I can take care of myself. That’s hugely healing, as you can imagine.

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