A studio in Burlington is trying to help people heal after traumatic experiences through yoga.
A number of teachers at Laughing River Yoga are using yoga techniques to help those who have experienced trauma. These instructors have taken courses in “trauma informed yoga,” which means they are given the tools to understand how different yoga movements impact people both physically and emotionally.
“They have some awareness on how to create a safe space and environment for people who have experienced trauma. Providing choices for people, allowing then to modify poses if they need to or leave the room if they need to take a break,” Deb Sherrer, from Laughing River Yoga, said. “it helps people reconnect with their physical experience.”
The Love Your Brain program, which is nationwide, focuses on helping those with traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, physically heal.
Teachers are also working veterans to cope with their time in war zones.
Nicolas Thornbro is a yoga student and also served in the Iraq War. Folks from Veterans Affairs encouraged him to check out yoga classes.
“People told me that if I come in here, it’ll help my body just relax and let the war go. And you know, the muscle memory thing, your body remembers what happened to you in a traumatic situation,” Thornbro said. “So you come in here and honestly, they said if I do these hip openers it’ll make me cry, and then I did.”
Thornobro says there’s also a sense of community built in the courses, helping him feel more accepted.
Some instructors from Laughing River Yoga are also teaching in local prisons.