Trauma can be very difficult to process. In fact, the pain is often so overwhelming and all-encompassing that it can be difficult to know where to even begin. However, there is hope.
Many people find embodiment practices to be helpful in trauma recovery. These practices help us connect with our bodies, and allow us to experience the sensations of trauma in a safe and controlled way. One of the nicest things about these embodiment practices is that they don’t need to follow a rigid set of rules or procedures: as long as you’re moving or focusing on physical sensations mindfully, you’re engaging in an embodiment exercise.
In this article, we will discuss three common embodiment practices to help process trauma, and get you going on your journey to recovery today.
Visualization is one of the most popular embodiment practices for trauma. It involves picturing yourself in a safe and calming place, free from the stress or fear associated with the traumatic experience. When visualizing, it’s important to focus on all five senses: what do you see, hear, smell, feel, and taste? Allow yourself to get lost in the visualization, and don’t be afraid to revisit it often.
One of the major benefits of visualization as an embodiment exercise is that you can practice it in situations where physical movement isn’t possible. For example, you can visualize walking in nature while waiting for an appointment. This means you can use this powerful healing practice just about any time you need it, anywhere you need it, which can be incredibly helpful if you start having difficulties in an inconvenient situation.
Another embodiment practice that can be helpful in trauma recovery is grounding. Grounding is a practice that helps us anchor and connect with our physical body in the present moment. This can be a very helpful practice for those who have experienced trauma, as it can help to reduce anxiety, dissociation, and flashbacks.
There are many different ways to ground oneself, and it is important to find what works best for you. Some people like to focus on their physical sensations, while others prefer to connect with nature or use mantra and meditation. There is no wrong way to do grounding, as long as it helps you to feel connected and safe.
The final embodiment practice we will discuss is yoga. Yoga can be a very helpful tool in trauma recovery, as it allows us to focus on our bodies and connect with our breath. The slow, intentional movements of yoga can help us to process the physical sensations of trauma and release them from our bodies. In addition, the deep breathing that is often used in yoga can help calm the nervous system and reduce stress.
Interestingly, certain yoga poses may provide relief from certain moods and issues. For example, inversions are thought to encourage emotional healing, which may be especially relevant for trauma survivors. If yoga is something that interests you, talk to a professional yoga practitioner to learn more about the different poses and their benefits. It may end up being just what you needed.
Thinking of giving yoga a try? Contact Edie Gudaitis Wellness today to learn more about our yoga programs!