If you had asked me about yoga a few years ago, I might have replied with a sneer. For one thing, Christians are inherently wary of yoga — not because of the nature of the exercise, but because it often gets lumped in with New Age thinking and practices. For another, when I think of exercise, I think of loud music, quick movement, and the thrill of feeling my heart rate soar.
The first couple times I tried yoga, I absolutely hated it. It was boring. Take your shoes off, dim the lights, lie down, and breathe slowly … it sounded like a prelude to a nap. But a funny thing happened as I deepened my knowledge of trauma-informed treatment. The evidence showed that controlled breathing, awareness of the body, and learning how to focus are three key elements in reducing trauma symptoms. Know what else incorporates those three elements? Yep, you guessed it.
When a friend of mine opened a yoga studio, I decided to give it another try in light of the research I’ve studied. I approached her class with an open mind … and to say this onetime skeptic discovered it was life-changing would be an understatement. Quieting one’s mind does more than make it easier to relax. Scientific research is proving that it has powerful health benefits. And the simple, mostly gentle movements actually increase strength when they’re performed regularly and consistently. Ginger’s class was not a boring form of mysticism. It’s a powerful health and wellness tool that improves the body and mood.
Seeing the impact it’s had on my life and those of others I know has led Care to Change to incorporate mindful movement practices to the services we offer. In fact, we added that friend, Ginger Boyce, to our team. She has been trained in a trauma-sensitive approach that is customized to those we serve — whether it’s in a private session, in a classroom setting with students, or shared with the entire team in an office.
We’re still working out the details, so watch for more information about this new addition to our evidence-based therapy methods. If you’d like to talk with us about how mindful movement may help you, please contact us to set a convenient time.
Due to the content of many yoga programs, Care to Change will not endorse yoga practices/programs outside Care to Change. Further, Care to Change is intentionally protecting our faith based mission through using the science of mindful movement and intentional breathwork through this wellness service, and more information about how we are doing that can be found here.