“When we learn to tune into our body, we find we have all the answers. When we simply decide to acknowledge any lower energy such as tension, strain, pain and ease up on the fighting, griping and holding on, we then have the fierce opportunity to make space for peace, strength, vitality, letting go of risk of illness and even disease.”
- Michelle Doublet
Published on www.wellistic.com https://wellistic.com/healing-trauma-through-yoga-meditation/
Written by: Michelle Doublet, LCSW, E-RYT, Reiki Level ll Certified, Reiki Master Trainee
THE MIND BODY CONNECTION
When we hold on to any type of lower energetic emotions, such as fear, anger, anxiety, and depression, it affects us on a cellular level. Scientists have long known we could detect imbalances in the subtle energy field before they became apparent in the physical body. Imbalances in our energy system can cause disruption in our mental, physical and spiritual Self.
Chronic stress or trauma can cause us to feel these lower energetic emotions and if we stay in this space for too long we are at risk for illness and even disease. It can manifest into mental, physical illness, pain in the body and even tension in our relationships with others.
It’s not your fault, trauma keeps us in that state of being - in survival - changing the way our brain functions and leaving us with an imbalanced nervous system. It’s necessary to learn new ways of living to align with your now in order to heal.
At the root of these issues is an imbalanced nervous system. Trauma or chronic stress is responsible for pushing your nervous system beyond its limits and derailing your health.
The stress can contribute to mental, emotional, physical and spiritual deficiencies, specifically in that order. Your body has been attempting to adapt and has always been on your side. It is not failing you, as many people feel. It is simply stuck in a state that only allows it to focus on your immediate survival.
Our body has a way of telling us what our mind talks us out of. Learning to tune in to our body can be very powerful and life changing. CAUTION - side effects of listening and tuning into the body can cause healthier decision making, and improve relationships and overall quality of life!
We all have a ‘knowing’ that tells us within sensations of our body! However, if we’ve experienced trauma it is very often that we can second guess our intuition our gut, our knowing. So what now?
With the power of Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness-Yoga and Energy Healing, our bodies can be reclaimed through connection, compassion, kindness and unconditional love. This is the teaching that yoga can bring, realigning and reclaiming our nervous system on an energetic cellular level.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a common type of talk therapy, can be a very effective way to assist in healing trauma, as it helps us to find balance in our thinking patterns and re-conceptualize understanding of traumatic experiences, as well as understanding of ourselves and our ability to cope. When we use CBT it is typically structured and focuses on increasing awareness into our negative or irrational thoughts and our thinking patterns in challenging or stressful situations. It’s based on the idea that our thoughts influence our feelings and emotions. It is to assist in helping us use logic and reason to view these situations more clearly in order to help us respond and react in positive, more effective ways.
However, CBT on its own sometimes is just not enough to heal trauma. We can talk all day but if we don’t address your body, not much will happen. It’s not your fault! When something traumatic happens, the brain functions differently!
Logic and reason are good things, as utilized with a CBT approach, yet they’re not super helpful when we’re activated by trauma. Not being able to be logical when activated by trauma is no ones fault, it’s neurobiology. The part of our brain called the frontal lobe helps us with logic and reason, yet it can be shutdown when our bodies perceive we are in danger. This is called the trauma response, but trauma is not stored in the frontal lobe.
Trauma is stored in our limbic system, which is concerned with sensory input and sends out emotional responses, concerned with alerting us if we’re in danger. Trauma doesn’t know time and can get stuck in this alert mode, keeping our nervous system ON. It’s also a part of the brain that is created, shaped and reshaped in relationships!
So if the frontal lobe is shut down, and the limbic system is activated, what can help? CONNECTION.
It can be connection to our environment, to our surroundings, to our bodies, to compassionate parts of ourselves or to another living thing, such as another person in which we trust.
Healing trauma through tuning into and addressing the body in part of other modalities of treatment needs to happen! A lot of times there is a struggle with healing from trauma, and it's a good reminder that your body is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. It is protecting you. Just needing a little work on re-calibrating the alarm system can be very helpful and helping your body understand that you are no longer in danger, that you are safe.
Through utilizing Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness-Yoga we can find healing in our energy system and reclaiming what is yours. Yoga itself means union, to yoke, to connect, bringing together the mind, body, spirit. Yoga scientifically increases a sense of gratitude, oneness, compassion, empathy, emotion regulation and stress tolerance. It’s an Art of your own in which you learn, understand, develop, practice and embody.
The teachings and skills developed can help move you towards a very high energetic loving level internally which your body is craving and needing to calm that activated part of the brain which is keeping your nervous system in high alert. Empowering, grounding, centering and securing you. These are all things our limbic system can understand and once we help the limbic system to calm and acknowledge there is no present danger, the frontal lobe can turn back on and then we can logic and reason again.
With the use of these ancient forms of healing, integrating sensitive understanding, connection and aspects of the Self, we can rediscover new ways of being to realign with your needs in the present moment in order to heal.
For more information on Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Mindfulness, Meditation and Energy Balancing please connect with Michelle at email@example.com
David E. & Elizabeth H. PhD, 2011-Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga- Reclaiming Your Body
Yoga-Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Y-CBT) for Anxiety Management: A Pilot Study
Lisa C, 2018- The Art of Psychic Reiki
Within the realms of your heart is where presence is. With heartfulness, true mindfulness, the heart of life is present, decreasing our fears, healing everything that gives us seperation, giving you back connection.
-Michelle Doublet, LCSW, ERYT
Your light may disturb, upset & even anger the darkness. The darkness can’t handle its own reflection. Don’t dim your light, shine it even brighter & see what happens.
Does the sun fear the shadows?
Listen to your heart today.
Feel your feelings fully without judging them.
Emotions are your guidance system.
If you allow yourself to feel all your feelings fully, regardless of whether they’re sad, angry, or joyous, your heart’s wisdom will heal your pain.
- Christiane Northrup, M.D
“Let’s shift from autopilot to conscious thinking, mindful eating.”
Yoga- brought to Mather Hospital Weight Management Program- Health Benefits Beyond The Mat
What is Mindfulness? In its most basic, simplest form, it can be defined as the ability to live in the present moment. So, what does that mean? It can mean, meditating twice a day, practicing Yoga, tai chi, journaling, sharing what you are grateful for, observing your surroundings, etc. Mindfulness is the act of being present while paying attention to passing thoughts and emotions without judgement. It’s really about not trying to change who you are, but becoming more fully present with your experiences. It does not have to be seated, it can be done at any moment, by being in the moment, such as focusing on the rhythm of the breath, the cooling as you inhale and the heat as you exhale from your nostrils. Cultivating mindfulness is an art, a skill developed through practice & repetition.
Basic benefits of how Yoga can help shift you from autopilot to conscious thinking, mindful eating…..
Better Body Image
- Focusing inward during Yoga helps you be more satisfied with your body and less critical of it
- Yoga can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, all of which are good for your heart and blood vessels.
- Practicing Yoga a couple of times a week increases muscle strength and flexibility (Mind & Body), boosts endurance, relaxes your nervous system (balances hormones) and tunes up your heart, lungs and blood vessels.
- Being more aware of how your body feels carries over to mealtimes as you savor, enjoy each bite, sip and notice how food smells, tastes and feels in your mouth
- Mindfulness developed through Yoga can make you more sensitive to cues of hunger and fullness, which help you develop a more positive relationship with food
Meditation, Breath control, Movement (asana-poses)
- Increases focus, concentration
- Increases self-awareness, insight, and conscious thinking
- Decreases Impulsivity-helps us learn to slow down
- Decreases cortisol levels- stress hormone- which often make you crave sugary, fatty and salty foods
- Developing skills to ease cravings, urges, temptations to things that are unhealthy for us
- Decreases anxiety, depression etc
- Teachings of self-love, compassion, kindness towards oneself, others without judgment increases our wanting to care for ourselves and helps us make healthy choices/decisions
- Letting go of ‘restriction thinking’ to ‘abundance’
Michelle Doublet, LCSW, E-RYT, Reiki Certified, Reiki Master Trainee
“what you need, you already have, & its found at the core of your being.”- Michelle Doublet
After I was asked to present to faculty about the benefits of bringing Yoga in the classroom, mainly wanting me to discuss the benefits for children who would use yoga instead of a consequence such as detention, I thought a lot. I couldn’t stop thinking.
Yoga-there are so many benefits! So I had to focus, I had to focus on one important aspect that I believed in, to be powerful enough to allow faculty to be inspired. To say the least, it was the teachers last day with the kids at school before their break! This was going to be challenging. What a treat they were in for! As I hoped.
While I thought about the importance of bringing Yoga in the classroom I could not help but to think how wonderful it would have been to have this necessity while I was going to school. At the time I was going to school, we weren’t exposed to half of what children are exposed to now. While I was in school I was not as nearly, NEARLY exposed to electronics, such as cell phones, apple TV, vapors etc. The list goes on. Which tells me, that there is a high demand and NEED to bring Yoga not only just in the classroom but in the school, as a whole.
As I continued to think about this topic I realized that the one thing WE all have in common is that we are all being stimulated on a constant and daily basis 24/7. Not only are children constantly stimulated, we as adults are as well too. Our society is in a constant rush, we are always ON, & we can instantly get what we want right at our finger tips. One thing WE do not have in common is our brain. The first 12 years are the prime time of development, the most important stage of development of their lives. Constant stimulation will affect ones intellect, emotions and behaviors. We all see it, children having difficulty 1) focusing, 2) concentrating and 3) communicating at an increased rate. These three areas, which I focused on, that are being hindered by constant stimulation, these three aspects of the self are the core to healthy decision-making, developing healthy relationships & the ability to absorb information, to learn. The three very important essentials to succeed. Teachers are leaders of our future. Teachers are here to help children learn, be successful so they can contribute to their community, to society. That’s a big responsibility. Teaching has become even more challenging however, & this is just ONE aspect, that hinders our children- being stimulated on a constant basis.
We see an increase of acting out behaviors, impulsivity, self-harm, substance use/abuse, bullying etc. What do we do? I say we need to meet our children where they are in society, to understand. If WE don’t slow down as a whole, we will never be where we want to be as a whole. Not only does bringing Yoga in the school help the children, it helps the teachers. It’s a win-win.
Yoga scientifically increases a sense of gratitude, oneness, compassion, empathy, emotion regulation and stress tolerance, PLUS all the areas of hindrances I mentioned above; focus, concentration and healthy affective ways to communicate. Important skills are developed and strengthened to allow children to better manage and cope with everyday stressors, learning the importance of speaking kindly to oneself and to others, increases ones ability to take tests affectively and consciously etc. Teachers then have the ability to use their leadership skills, to be creative and bring Yoga into their classroom, in their school any way they see fit. Areas they may see as lacking and needing more attention to.
As one example, using Yoga during classroom time allows teachers to let go of just using the traditional way of teaching, sitting at the desk. Integrating Yoga during classroom time allows students (and teachers) to take short breaks, to standup, to reenergize, to refocus. Such as flowing into a balancing pose (these poses assist in learning how to regulate emotions, stress tolerance, increases focus and concentration) helps them then come back to what’s being taught at hand. All of these positives-equals positive outcomes, happier students, happier teachers.
After the discussion, a short breathing exercise and guided meditation with the faculty, I had many teachers brainstorming ways they can start to integrate simple breathing and meditation exercises into the school. An example was when the children get off the bus; they have a short time frame before they head to their classroom. They discussed the possibility of projecting a video of a meditation on a screen for all the children to watch and participate in right before heading to their classrooms. Simple yet profound!
A few questions to ask yourself-
1) What would you see different if the power of Yoga was brought into your school?
2) How can you start bringing Yoga in your school?
Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world.
All you need to do in this very moment is to just be still. To Breathe, take a breath & be silent with eyes closed, open heart & just be. Be still in your mind, be still in your soul. All that you need, you already have, all that you have is all that you need. Take a moment to recognize what you have built, what you do have. Gratitude, love is all you need right now, let this be your intention in stillness in silence.
Namaste- Michelle Doublet
"Learning to be still, to really be still & let life happen, that stillness becomes a radiance."
Fall to Rise.
This is the time of year
that the leaves on the trees
are reminding us that there is beauty
in letting the dead things go.
When you have
clarity of intention,
conspires with you
to make it happen.
out of habit
& more out
Whats broken can be mended.
What hurts can be healed.
And no matter how dark it gets,
the sun is going to rise again.
Learn from everyone. Follow no one.
Where there is space, there is peace
Namaste- Michelle Doublet
Like a TREE
YOU HAVE TO
find your roots
AND THEN YOU CAN
bend in the wind.
+ Namaste +
My soul honors your soul.
I honor the place in you where
the entire universe resides.
I honor the light, love, truth,
beauty & peace within you,
because it is also within me.
In sharing these things
we are united, we are the same.
We are one.
You have a choice everyday, choose to put yourself in the way of beauty.
"Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu.
May all beings everywhere
be happy and free
and may the thoughts, words,
and actions of my own life
contribute in some way
the the happiness and
to that freedom for all."