Everybody has trauma & how yoga helped with mine

This post is by one of our core teachers, Leslie. 

If it weren’t for yoga, I would never have re-learned to enjoy my body.

As a child and teen, I was heavily involved in physical activity, but in my post-secondary years I succumbed to a sedentary lifestyle. The workload of university was overwhelming, but my total lack of movement or exercise occured, in large part, because of a string of traumas. These events left me feeling disconnected from my body, and more often than not, fearful and self-loathing.

Even though I knew it would help me, I resisted all physical activity. Sports were no longer any fun, and going the gym to “work out” seemed not only boring, but overly aspirational. Moving my body felt difficult, pointless, and unpleasant. Any movement or exertion which made me aware of my body, brought with it reminders of my trauma, and the pain that still lived within me.

In my final year of university, a friend convinced me to try a yoga class in the campus athletic centre. I was seduced by the mystery around yoga, and since it was the adventurous thing to do, I decided to join her. I still remember how the instructor led us through a soft and slow-paced class with careful instruction and plenty of room to be a beginner. I’ll admit it: I was hooked.

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Reblogged: Why teach yoga to Thugs?

This post originally appeared here. Meaghan Johnson, former QSY owner, worked with Shannon Braden a social worker and a QSY student on this great initiative

I’ve been asked this question. Not these “exact’ words, but it certainly felt that way when I was asked to ‘provide a rationale’ as to why we use yoga as part of our programs at inREACH, a street gang prevention program in Waterloo Region. Here’s the rationale I gave… which also seems to be backed up by a lot of good solid evidence.

All of the youth we work with at inREACH have deficits in the area of emotion regulation. In its most problematic form this may result in anger and aggression which can cause them to come into conflict with the law; less obviously, but just as seriously, many of the same youth suffer from chronic anxiety and depression. Continue reading