Hope: How Yoga Heals the Scars of Trauma

Hope: How Yoga Heals The Scars Of Trauma
We are pleased to announce the arrival of a new and important book on how yoga heals trauma by Swami Ahimsadhara (Helen Cushing).  Swami Ahimsadhara will teach a course on this topic through Big Shakti’s education platform in 2017. (Register your interest below).

Yoga for Trauma Recovery

Yoga is a powerful and efficient system for changing the brain. This is exactly the need of people suffering from post-traumatic disorder (PTSD). Not all trauma survivors develop PTSD but for those who do, life becomes unbearable, just as the trauma was. Devoid of hope, suicide can feel like the only way to freedom from physical pain and mental anguish. Yoga offers a vital seed of hope.

Although PTSD is generally treated as a psychological disorder it is increasingly recognised as a condition of the entire organism. Hence, body inclusive therapy has an important role to play in full recovery. The need is to heal the nervous system, reset the brain and learn methods for relaxation, mind management and putting the past to rest. As the symptoms of PTSD reduce it becomes possible to re-establish fulfilling relationships with loved ones and interact comfortably with society.

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Genetic Stress is Proven – Here’s How You Can Reverse It

Genetic Stress Is Proven – Here’s How You Can Reverse It
Science has proven through epigenetics that we inherit stress from our ancestors and that we absorb our mother’s stress in the womb. It has also proven that what we do today has an immense influence on our genetic expression, whether it develops into wellbeing or disease.

Both stress and relaxation are frequently misunderstood. It is often thought that stress is a minor problem, similar to a light cold, and that relaxation is simply an escape from work through recreation. They are much more than this.

Stress is deeply embedded in the body-mind from birth. You carry the cellular memory of the deep past; the trials and traumas of your ancestors, and the worries and tensions that your mother experienced while you were in her womb.

True relaxation is a skill that inhibits negative genetic expression and triggers positive genetic expression. It short-circuits your predisposition towards disease.

When you understand and practice relaxation you take significant control of your biological and psychological processes. You disrupt both the everyday stresses, and the deep tensions that you’ve carried since birth, and which have formed who you are. This enables regeneration of the body-mind on a cellular level.

Choosing how your genetics express

You had no choice or control over your ancestral inheritance, nor did you have a say in what happened to you in the womb. You inherited strengths and weaknesses from your ancestors, and you developed strengths and weaknesses while you were growing in the womb.

It is our weaknesses that cause us daily stress and, if not managed well, prevent us from dealing with ongoing accumulating pressures. This is what we all are obligated to address if we want a healthy, disease-free life. We have to learn how to use our strengths to manage our weaknesses and if we become skilled enough we can actually transform our weaknesses into strengths.

From a young age, you have made lifestyle choices that have had a positive or negative impact on your life. How well you feel today is a result of how successful you have been in reducing your accumulated daily stresses and combating the stress of your genetic inheritance.

Fortunately, you can still make choices today that will have a very positive impact on the rest your life, and that will alter your genetic vulnerabilities.

You are more powerful than you think

It is crucial to appreciate the immense power you have over your own genetic expression.

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Yoga Psychology and Psychotherapy – Theory and Practice

Yoga Psychology And Psychotherapy – Theory And Practice
Yoga psychology is the theoretical basis for yoga psychotherapy. Yoga psychotherapy plays a vital role in the successful treatment and management of physical, psychological and spiritual conditions. When combined with Western psychotherapeutic approaches it creates a powerful holistic approach to long-term healing.

One of the greatest things about yoga psychology and psychotherapy is that they not only provide a holistic path to self-healing, they also enable spiritual awakening. This is because in these systems illness can be viewed as a sacred path to higher awareness if one has the appropriate knowledge, techniques and support.

Modern medicine is realizing that a physical approach alone, e.g. prescription drugs, or a psychological approach alone, e.g Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), delivers limited and often short-term benefits.

A holistic approach, which is sometimes called a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach is preferred over the purely biomedical model and the purely psychological model. The biomedical model does not fully recognize the effects of the mind on the body. The purely psychological model does not fully grasp the impact of the body on the mind.

Yoga psychology is a modern term that is in evolution. I define it as:

The science of the embodied relationship between consciousness and mind.

Yoga psychology sees body and mind as indivisible and gives maximum emphasis to the role of cultivating self-awareness as the foundation on which improved health and wellbeing is built.

Yoga psychology can also be called the science of the “subtle body,” the part of us that lies between and links the physical body and the spiritual, or causal body, the subtlest part of us.

The 4 Dimensions of Yoga Psychology

In order to gain a larger vision of the theoretical basis of yoga psychology, we need a 4-dimensional approach that draws from various Indian philosophical systems, including Yoga, Samkhya, Tantra, and Vedanta.

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