Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a mental illness that can happen after someone goes through or sees a traumatic event. PTSD causes people to have flashbacks, bad dreams, and a lot of anxiety.
While traditional forms of therapy can be effective, alternative therapies like yoga are becoming increasingly popular in managing PTSD symptoms.
However, in this blog, we’ll explore how yoga can help with post-traumatic stress disorder and provide some tips for incorporating yoga into your mental health routine.
How can Yoga help with PTSD?
Yoga is a practice for both the body and the mind that includes physical poses, breathing exercises, and meditation. It has been shown to help with many aspects of mental health, such as lowering anxiety and depression, boosting mood, and making it easier to relax.
Therefore, here are some ways that yoga can specifically help with post-traumatic stress disorder:
- Reducing hyperarousal: PTSD often causes heightened alertness and sensitivity to triggers. Yoga’s focus on slow, intentional movement and deep breathing can help calm the nervous system and reduce hyperarousal.
- Increasing self-awareness: Yoga encourages practitioners to pay attention to their thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations in the present moment. This also helps individuals with PTSD become more aware of their triggers and develop coping strategies for managing them.
- Enhancing mind-body connection: Trauma can cause individuals to feel disconnected from their bodies, leading to physical symptoms like chronic pain or tension. So, practicing yoga can help individuals reconnect with their bodies and develop greater control over their physical and emotional experiences.
- Promoting relaxation: Yoga’s emphasis on relaxation and stress reduction can help individuals with PTSD manage symptoms like anxiety and insomnia. So, regular yoga practice has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety symptoms.
Tips on How to Use Yoga to Improve your Mental Health
Here are some tips for incorporating yoga into your mental health routine if you’re living with PTSD:
- Start slow: If you’re new to yoga, it’s essential to start slow and listen to your body. Begin with gentle, beginner-level classes or online videos and work up to more challenging poses.
- Focus on breathing: Deep breathing is a critical component of yoga and can be particularly helpful for individuals with PTSD. Practice breathing exercises like “pranayama” to help calm the nervous system.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation that requires one to be fully present at the moment and observe their thoughts and feelings without any critical evaluation.Incorporating mindfulness practices into your yoga routine can help increase self-awareness and reduce hyperarousal symptoms.
- Seek out trauma-informed yoga classes: Trauma-informed yoga classes are designed with the specific needs of individuals with PTSD in mind. Look for types that prioritize safety, choice, and empowerment.
In conclusion, those who have PTSD may find relief from hyperarousal, an increase in self-awareness, and increased relaxation via yoga. Moreover, strategies that can be beneficial include practicing mindfulness and breathing techniques and searching for yoga courses that are aware of trauma.
Consider including yoga as part of your treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to get the benefits of yoga. So, give yoga a shot to reap the potential benefits to your mental health that it has to offer.