With the coming of Veteran’s Day, I can’t help but reflect on the time I spent at Omega for a Veteran’s Retreat hosted by the Venerable Claude Anshin Thomas.  He is a brilliant, compassionate monk and Vietnam Veteran. Here are some Yoga suggestions for working with peope with trauma.

  1. Encourage Dirga Pranayama and Ujjayi to soothe the nervous system
  2. Use touch sparingly and only with enthusiastic verbal consent. Do not approach from behind or surprise. Enter the student’s space mindfully and slowly.
  3. Avoid deep backbends. Think of containing prana. Instead practice grounding, face down backbends like salambasana, bhujangasana, salamba bhujangasana.
  4. Standing strength poses for stability and empowerment – tadasana, virabhadrasana I and II.
  5. Sprinkle in balance postures such as vrikasana and garudasana.
  6. Apply gentle supported forward folds. Use lots of props. Be mindful of low back injuries or too much introspection.
  7. Close with Yoga Nidra.

Yoga heals. Those who have experienced trauma benefit from contemplatve healing practices and somatic therapy. Yoga offers both. I hope you enjoy this and would love to hear from you.


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