How to Care for Trauma Using Yoga and Tai Chi
How do you help someone who’s in the middle of trauma? This is a complicated question with a simple beginning. When you’re in a caregiver role, remember to care for yourself.
Everything you can do for someone else will come from what you’re doing also for you.
And a second simple answer is, there’s a good chance you already know the answer. Or at least, you know how to be there for your friend. It might be mostly by listening. It might be very little by solving anything.
Of course there’s an approach for trauma that exists in the tai chi and yoga healing practices we share here. It begins with
- Softness, releasing protective rigidity so you can be moved.
- Creating a good relationship between your body and breath, so your breath moves you.
- Moving your body from center as one whole body in harmony with itself, rather than a set of separate parts that are separately controlled.
These practice don’t heal right away. But they can create a chemical and emotional change that does help, right away.
Slow down and breathe deep, enough to feel. Believe what you feel is worth responding. And respond, through how you move.
This isn’t about a tai chi or yoga sequence for trauma. We need something more holistic. Simplistic solutions might work for a short time when they’re new, but don’t tend to work for very long. Healing is about moving in harmony with your whole self, feeling, and responding.
- Help your friend to begin where she’s comfortable. It can be from sitting or standing, hands and knees, or lying down.
- Now breathe deep, so her body and breath are connected as the same. Each inhale lifting her a bit out of where she is, giving her a little more strength, each exhale softening her, making it just a bit easier to be where she is. This kind of breathing alone is enough.
- Begin to move easily, and explore. When she finds a spot that feels good to linger, linger. When she wants to move, move. Easily and gently, always beginning in this connection between breath and body. Always noticing, believing, responding.
Maybe most of all, be there for your friend. You don’t need to do something to her, fix her, or change her. And you don’t need to teach her anything from a distance.
How you are in your own body and mind is how we help each other the most.
When we’re carrying around extra stress and tension and moving uncomfortably, people know. When we’re at ease in our selves, people know.
You can call this advanced yoga, or tai chi, qi gong, or whatever it is you practice for your life. Or you can just call it being good at something that’s important. Whatever you call it, it’s worth practicing.
So breathe deep, get comfortable in you, and make a positive connection with yourself, so you can make a positive connection with your friends.
From here, just be. If there’s something that needs doing, you’ll know.
About Strala Yoga Training
Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.
It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.
In our Strala Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.