Earlier this week, the Washington Post ran the story, Girls suffer childhood trauma more. New research shows how yoga can help heal them. This headline speaks volumes to me. As a female, a mom to a daughter, a certified yoga teacher, a researcher, and a community advocate, much of what I believe and aim to live sits right there in that headline.
I remember about a decade ago, sitting around a table discussing program evaluation for a local emergency shelter program, where I served on the board. The conversation turned to stress, wellness, and the toxicity of living in crisis. The group of us talked about yoga as a tool for our own self-care and how it could be a helpful tool to offer in the shelter’s programming. Then, as it often does around nonprofit tables, the words “evidence” steered us into a different direction.
I think, often, that the wisdom and evidence of lived experience outpaces the evidence of social research. And, I am happy to see the growing body of scientific evidence that yoga and somatic tools like it really can do wonders for our brains, our bodies, and our emotions.
Part of my Pat Asch Fellowship year will be to immerse more deeply in the study of trauma and resilience. One of the tools that I hope to emerge with is a greater understanding of how yoga can be used to reconnect with our resilient zones in everyday situations – situations where we may not have a mat, a teacher, a studio but we do have our breaths, our bodies, our beautiful brains, and each other. Particularly, I’m interested in exploring ways that our community can support and honor older adults and women working in the long-term care industry: our certified nursing assistants, home health attendants, and personal care aides.
I look forward to sharing what I learn here on the blog! In the meantime, here are some resources that are helping me to deepen my own yoga practice and to expand my knowledge of how yoga can help to transform us from the inside out: