The following is a guest post from Yogalife instructor Gabi Weaver. Gabi brings a special element to our team with her experience in Therapeutic Yoga and her involvement with helping at-risk groups begin to stabilize and heal.
Gabi is excited to share a special 3-hour workshop with the community October 31 at Yogalife Studios North.
My name is Gabriela Weaver, RYT, RHN, YoR. I am a practicing Yoga therapist. I have used Yoga’s many tools to heal and support others with anxiety and depression, alcohol and drug addiction, eating disorders and PTSD. I have worked with people who have cancer, fibromyalgia, HIV, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis and neurological and neuromuscular diseases. I have used Yoga countless times to support and strengthen thousands of practitioners, and lead them back to better lives, happier lives, with better health, and a new vitality for living that is so exciting and wonderful to see.
I’m going to ask you to think of yoga as medicine - a concept which may be new to you. You have probably seen many pictures of yoga practitioners in very advanced postures and have heard about the sauna-like conditions that accompany many modern yoga practices. This has convinced many people that yoga isn’t something that could possibly be for them. But take a closer look; you will find yoga being used in ways you may have never thought of before. Yoga is now being used in many capacities to heal both body and mind.
Yoga may be the most powerful overall system for healing ever discovered. The relief of suffering has been the central aim of yoga for thousands of years. Part of the reason that yoga is so effective is that it aims to heal the mind, body and spirit together. Yoga not only addresses the symptoms of PTSD, but has the tools to do it. A number of yoga practices, starting with simple breathing exercises that almost anyone can do, can reliably shift the body from the flight-or-fight response to relaxation (Colonel David Grossman -Tactical Breathing author of ‘On Combat’). It is even possible, using yogic tools, to shift your mind and body into a relaxed state when you are experiencing PTSD symptoms. Keep in mind though, that while powerful, yoga isn’t a quick fix. Yoga becomes more and more effective over weeks, months, and years of practice.
Therapeutic yoga awakens in you the ability to heal yourself. Therapeutic yoga is supported by psychology and neuroscience. It is brought to life by my students who share their stories of struggle and healing. By connecting with your mind and body, you’ll gain a glimpse of what lies beyond the emotional pain of PTSD, trauma, and heightened states of anxiety. Yoga opens a window to a new world. This includes a connection to a deeper part of you that lives within and also transcends your mind and body: your spirit or vital essence.