Teaching Yoga Sessions for PTSD - Yoga Practice Blog

Teaching Yoga Sessions for PTSD

teaching yoga sessions for PTSDBy Faye Martins

There are a few things that every yoga teacher should know when teaching yoga sessions for PTSD. First, it is important to be aware of the different types of trauma that can lead to PTSD. Second, it is crucial to understand the symptoms of PTSD and how they can manifest in your students. Finally, you should know what techniques and poses are most helpful for students dealing with PTSD. By being knowledgeable about these things, you can create a safe and supportive environment for your students to heal and grow.


Preparation for Sessions

When teaching yoga sessions for students with PTSD, it is important to be prepared. First, it is helpful to learn as much as possible about PTSD and how it can affect people. This will allow you to understand your students and their needs better. Creating a safe and welcoming environment for your students is also important. This means being accepting and understanding of their symptoms and triggers. Finally, plan each session so your students can feel confident and comfortable during their practice.


Recover From Pain

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can come about after someone suffers a traumatic psychological experience, sees horrific events, or has been physically violated. The disorder is complicated and varied, resulting in various symptoms and impairments. PTSD sufferers often undergo a combination of medicinal and psychological treatments. Yoga can help sufferers by providing a way to train the mind to recover from the pain. Postures, breathing, and meditation can work together to help PTSD sufferers cope with the past, present, and future.


Addressing Restless Energy

For people suffering from PTSD, yoga can be an extremely helpful way to settle restless energy and ease anxiety. In a safe and supportive environment, yoga can help people to connect with their bodies and start to feel more in control. Breath work and gentle movement can help to ground the body and mind while promoting a sense of calm and wellbeing. If you are interested in settling students down mentally and physically, gentle movement is a great way to help with PTSD. Starting with slow-flowing postures after a warm-up helps settle nervous energy.


The Private Option

When teaching yoga sessions for PTSD, private classes are ideal for students. This is because yoga can help to calm the nervous system and ease the symptoms of PTSD. In a private session, the yoga teacher can tailor the practice to the student’s needs, which is impossible in a group class. This means that the student can benefit from the yoga practice most.  Instructors should take special care to provide a safe, comfortable environment for students to release anxieties, fears, and inhibitions through yoga training sessions.


Understand the Fears

Before designing and implementing a specific routine for the student, instructors need to understand what happened to the person and how it is affecting their lives regularly. These are sensitive waters, and instructors must exercise the utmost understanding and compassion. You might first give the student a form to fill out and later sit down with him or her to ask questions or form a better understanding. There may be specifics the client doesn’t wish to speak about, which is okay.


Encourage the Client

PTSD is a complicated disorder full of ups and downs. The job of the yoga instructor is to provide gentle reassurance and encouragement when the client feels helpless. Gently guide them in meditation and breathing sessions to show the benefits breathing can provide. Encourage the client to focus on the positive aspects of his or her life instead of focusing on the anxiety and fear associated with the incurred trauma.


Provide a Whole Body Workout

Unless the client wants to focus on a specific body area, design a routine that will energize and invigorate the entire body. Teach simple flows like the sun salutation, moon salutation, or the warrior series that can flow smoothly into each other. The client will have to focus on breathing and movement throughout the yoga session. Pepper some reflection and rest time into the routine by using a child’s pose or another comfort-inducing pose. Encourage the client to feel gratitude for the present moment as he or she feels the sensations of the workout flow through the body.


Group Classes

When teaching yoga sessions for PTSD, it’s important to focus on specialist group classes. This means that the classes are designed specifically for people who have PTSD. The goal is to help them manage their symptoms and learn how to cope with their condition. In these classes, the instructors will use breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. Yoga classes play an important role in helping people with PTSD. In addition to the physical benefits of yoga, the classes can provide a sense of community and support. They can also help people feel more comfortable in their bodies and develop greater self-awareness.


Yoga Classes with Veterans in Mind

Depending on where you live, there may be Yoga classes specific for veterans with PTSD that can help them feel more comfortable. In these classes, the students are taught to focus on their breath and use props if needed. The students are also encouraged to modify the poses to what feels best for their bodies. These classes aim to help the veterans feel more relaxed and release any tension they may be holding in their bodies.


Creating a Haven for All Students

To teach yoga sessions for PTSD, respecting each student’s privacy is important. The students may not want to share their experiences with the class, and that’s okay. Creating a safe and welcoming environment where the students feel comfortable and respected is important. The teacher should also be aware of triggers that could cause a negative reaction in the students. It is also important not to touch students without their consent. Instead, focus on providing a safe and welcoming environment where students can feel comfortable practicing yoga.


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