While I don’t have much experience with typical yoga, I am familiar with the structure of yoga and how it is run. The trauma-informed yoga experience was much different, though not unwelcome. The focus was placed on creating shapes, rather than poses, and the instructor uses inviting language to suggest that we participate but it is our flow and at our own pace. Placing the power and movement in the clients and using inviting language is what makes this trauma-informed.
I was surprised at how grounding of an experience it was for me. I spent most of the hour with my eyes closed, focusing on my breath and how it was filling up my body, where I normally spend most of my time in yoga making sure I’m getting poses correct and feeling a stretch in my body. It was a very pleasant change from what I was used to.
I also really enjoyed the 10 minutes of mindful resting at the very end of the session. I chose a shape that was curled inward on my side and it felt childlike in many ways, as if I was coming back to myself and really nurturing my inner child by allowing my body to rest mindfully while focusing on my breathing and allowing my mind to drift around aimlessly.
Mindfulness is a constant practice in my life, especially because life is so hectic and constantly moving which makes practicing mindfulness difficult. But I appreciated the hour session of quiet and grounding. I turned off the lights in my bedroom, allowing only natural light to flood in rather than artificial, and focused on feeling my hands and knees pressing into the yoga mat underneath me.
I definitely prefer this type of yoga over the traditional form, because it is good practice for myself to practice grounding techniques. I also learned some easy poses that I can incorporate into my morning stretching that can help me ground myself before I even start my day. This experience was extremely beneficial to me, and I would encourage anyone to try it out because grounding feels so good in the body.