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Trauma-Informed Exercise Options

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

By Shelley Walden, MSW Intern, Shamanic Reiki Master Practitioner Edited By Magnolia Heaton, LCSW, Shamanic Reiki Master Teacher


Recently, I’ve been thinking about the mind-body connection. As Bessel van der Kolk

wrote in his book The Body Keeps the Score, “Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies” (pp. 102). There are many ways to do this (including through Reiki), but one of the most accessible ways is through exercise. Some people also believe exercise can help clear trauma from the body and/or energy channels of the body (e.g. chakras).

Later this month, I will be taking a course on Trauma Sensitive Yoga. Yoga has been

found to be effective in treating many physical ailments as well as symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and PTSD. I’m so excited to learn more and share these interventions with the LIH community!

In the meantime, here are some trauma-informed exercise options in our area that might

appeal to some of our clients and website guests!

Yoga:

  • YOGASAAR: https://www.livingyouryoga.org/ In the past, this yoga studio has provided a weekly trauma sensitive yoga and mindfulness class. Clients pay for this class on a sliding scale, and no one is turned away.

  • The 9 Best Yoga YouTube Channels: https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-videos/best- yoga-youtube-channels/ This Yoga Journal article lists the best yoga channels on YouTube, such as the Yoga with Adriene channel and Yoga with Bird channel. While not necessarily trauma-informed, this is an easy way to practice yoga at home for free.

Walking/Hiking:

Running:

  • Running Medicine: https://runningmedicine.org/ A Native Health Initiative program that is intergenerational and open to all fitness levels. Running Medicine emphasizes the “cultural, mental and spiritual aspects of running/walking” and views exercise as a medicine for not only the body, but also the mind and spirit.

Horseback riding:

  • Enchanted Equine Adventures: https://enchantedequinenm.com/ This organization offers therapeutic riding in the South Valley and specializes in working with kids, veterans, first responders and adults with anxiety and PTSD.

  • Cloud Dancers: https://www.clouddancersthp.org/about/ This organization in the North Valley provides horse-assisted activities to individuals with physical, cognitive, emotional, and/or social needs.

Swimming:

** Disclaimer: Information contained herein regarding any company, group, website or

individual, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by LIH. #selfcare #traumarecovery #exercise #somaticwork #somatictherapy #somatic #holistichealth Like this Blog Post? Give it a Like. If you have questions or would like to see specific topics, please leave a comment.

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