In my opinion, every person has the ability to enhance their lives by adopting a consistent yoga practice, especially people who have suffered a trauma. While the road to recovery for sexual abuse survivors is long and difficult, and there's by no means a cure-all to such trauma, many survivors of sexual abuse have turned to yoga to help.
Being a sexual abuse survivor myself, I have experienced yoga’s healing power in a very real way. For me, movement is extremely important. After going through a body trauma, like rape, it was difficult for me to be inside my body because I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. After a couple of months of practicing, I noticed several changes: my mind was clearer, my body wasn’t as rigid and I felt stronger. I felt like I could finally breathe again.
Yoga has helped allow me to find stillness in a world consumed with chaos. I love the feeling and effects of yoga. When stepping onto my mat I begin to feel immediate changes to not only my physical body but also my mental capacity. These changes have helped me to long term health and transformation.
Incorporating yoga into your daily routine can be beneficial and healing for survivors. Here are some reasons why:
Yoga quells the fluctuations of the mind. It helps slows down the mental loops of frustration, regret, anger, fear, and desire that can cause stress.
Yoga and meditation build awareness.
Yoga combines the elements of breathing, poses, and mindfulness in a gentle way allowing survivors to reconnect with their bodies and emotions.
It teaches us to foster self love and compassion.
Yoga gives us strength and helps show us how strong we really are.
Yoga helps us regain control over our bodies. It can empower you to take your life back.
Yoga provides tools to help you grow and you might even start to feel better the first time you try practicing. Then, the more you commit to your practice, the more you benefit. Yoga can help give you power to effect change and seeing that you can effect change gives you hope. Hope itself can be healing.
Written by: Keri Mandell