Trauma occurs when we are exposed to an overwhelming situation, and our bodies are unable to cope with what we have experienced. Over time, if we do not find a way to release the trauma from out bodies, we develop habits and leave our trauma unresolved. This may manifest into health issues, anxiety, depression, behavioral issues and stress.
Increasing evidence and studies underscore the importance of somatic experiences including mindfulness and yoga as cost effective and sustainable interventions for survivors of pervasive childhood traumatic experiences.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the United States has recognized trauma-sensitive yoga as an evidence-based adjunctive treatment for complex, developmental trauma or chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. CYP’s gender specific curriculum works with marginalized teen girls to help address emotional dysregulation, commonly found in traumatized youth. CYP’s classes work in three phases to regulate the body. First, CYP meets the girls where they are at, and begin class by regulating the brain stem through sensory integration and self regulation activities. Following, the focus moves towards using their sensations, initiating the limbic system (the feeling brain) through relational activities. The final part of class integrates cognitive activities that engage the “thinking brain” or the prefrontal cortex. This “bottom up” approach mirrors human and brain stem development, providing girls with skills and tools to balance their emotions, reclaim their voices and move toward positive change.
Below is a small sample of studies that support these studies. Happy reading!
Gender Injustice: System Level Juvenile Justice Reforms for Girls
- A Pilot Study of a Randomized Controlled Trial of Yoga as an Intervention for PTSD Symptoms in Women
- Application of Yoga in Residential Treatment of Traumatized Youth
Trauma-sensitive yoga as an adjunct mental health treatment in group therapy for survivors of domestic violence: A feasibility study
Yoga as an Adjunctive Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- Yoga for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression, and Substance Abuse: A Review of the Clinical Effectiveness and Guidelines