According to Dr. Peter Levine, "Trauma is the most misunderstood and untreated cause of human suffering.
Trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual's ability to cope, it causes feelings of helplessness, diminishes the sense of self and the ability to feel the full range of emotions and experiences.
Trauma is Trauma no matter what caused it.
"Trauma is not the story of something that happened back then. It’s the current imprint of that pain, horror, and fear living inside people.” -Bessel van der Kolk
The essence of trauma is dissociation or disconnecting from self and others and moving away from reality.
Whereas yoga is about connection. It is self-realization, finding the truth about what we are, who we are and why we exist. In this respect, yoga is the polar opposite of trauma.
Yoga can help diminish the dysregulation that causes trauma-related suffering by using a bottom-up approach that draws on somatic experience as an entryway into a person’s inner life.
Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TSY) is a type of yoga practice developed with the specific purpose to treat complex trauma. TSY shares common physical forms and breathing with most yoga forms practiced, but is distinctive in terms of the way the yoga classes are facilitated.
Forms, breathing and mindfulness are targeted on the practitioners bodily experience or interoception. TSY forms and breathing are framed as invitations and opportunities for practitioners to determine their own subjective experience and begin to find their own locus of control. TSY departs from meaning making through emotional and cognitive channels, but emphasizes practitioners' bodily experience in terms of creating awareness of interacting with their bodies.