Yoga and Trauma.

I have been interested in the path of Yoga as a tool for dealing with a traumatic event for sometime now.  There has been an exploration of yoga being used for veterans dealing with post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) as a tool to subside the symptoms for a number of years.  The article hyper linked in the previous sentence, shared with me by Sarah Wade, provides an example of yoga applied in this setting.

I decided to explore yoga as a tool for dealing with traumatic events a bit further – to investigate peer reviewed literature that was researching yoga in international humanitarian relief situations ie: post natural disaster or violent conflict.   The intention behind the research was to consider yoga as a practice method within international settings.

As anything goes within an international development context – different practices are controversial due to the nature of relief coming from both external and internal sources – and yoga could only be considered indigenous to India, Sri Lanka or some other countries in East Asia.  Therefore, controversy remains within this suggested practice method – yet uncertainty and controversy resides within the international sphere and any mental health practices…

So explore for yourself…

I discovered some interesting findings – both positive and important things to consider – most importantly, ensuring the practice method is causing no harm!

I constructed a website to share my findings.  You can view it at ‘Yoga ~ Considering a Collective Practice Method’.

If you have any feedback, comments or stories – I would love to hear back! Discussion is welcomed!

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Tis the season for…Habit Energy!

Things have been pretty quiet on this blog lately – when in reality life has been bustling!  Having just finished another semester of graduate school and then bouncing into work, room to breath got put aside!

I had a reality check this week, something I know happens in life and often I can see it coming: I over commit – get exhausted – loose perspective!   I find it so crazy – I’m aware of feeling overwhelmed and filled with information and action, aware that the candle within is dimming due to lack of oxygen…yet habit energy persists!  This time of year is especially known to be full – it’s like this full bubble slowly approaching that feels inevitable, yet there is always choice…and it seems I often choose too much!

One of the commitments right now is a course with Michael Stone looking at the precepts.  We spent the last three weeks engaged in inquiry and exploration of ahimsa – non harm and satya – honesty…! In those times of being a witness and striving to integrate and practice these two precepts, habit energy persisted and appeared to get stronger when striving to open and redirect the patterns.  The interesting part was having a subtle awareness of habit energy, yet choosing to live into it because I did not have the space for attention to live with clear intentions.

And honestly – I know practice can become habit too.  I have seen it within…that sense of routine, even boredom has crept in!  And the lesson that came up was, pay attention.  It seems simple – to notice and have attention so I can be mindful of my choices, mindful that this “habit” is causing no harm and coming from an honest and authentic place.

Attention resides within intimacy and intimacy rides upon my breath that returns to attention.  Maybe it’s this spiral of awareness that will crack my codes of habit energy…I think the spiral is a powerful natural design that carries that wisdom of this planet within it, so maybe it can serve in this situation…

…but the most important ingredient is – s p a c e .

If I draw a spiral on a piece of paper, I would not see a spiral if it wasn’t for the space between the circles.  If there was no space, it would just look like a blob or a coloured in circle on a page.  So in order to see a spiral – on a page or in nature – there needs to be space for light and colour, shadow and texture to show up.