There has been some recent studies which suggest that people with PTSD may benefit from yoga and mindfulness meditation. Yoga originated in ancient India and means “union” in Sanskrit. In yoga, the “union” that occurs is between the mind, body and spirit.
Yoga, as many think about it today, is most accurately described by the word “asana,” another Sanskrit word that describes the practice of physical postures and poses. In a nutshell, yoga is about creating a balance or equilibrium in the body through the development of strength and flexibility. Breathing and mindful awareness of the body are also important components of yoga.
Yoga may work particularly well for people with PTSD because it has been found to reduce the sensitivity of the part of our nervous system that causes us to feel physically aroused in response to some kind of stressful event or situation. In addition, yoga may help strengthen the part of our nervous system that aids in the reduction of arousal. Yoga has also been found to bring about changes in areas of the brain involved in the experience of positive emotion and reward. Yoga may also increase mindful awareness of thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations, which can be very helpful for someone with PTSD. Finally, yoga can improve your physical health, which may be particularly important for people with PTSD.