Rocsana Enriquez started thinking about yoga again when she was pregnant. She was 19 and in an abusive relationship.
When she was younger, Rocsana, whom I interviewed as part of my research, had taken part in a yoga program in a San Francisco Bay Area juvenile hall run by The Art of Yoga Project. She began using the skills she learned on the mat to slow herself down when she got angry and to pause before reacting. She remembered the breathing techniques and poses that made her feel better about herself.
Now, seeking the same quietness she had been able to achieve in class back in juvenile hall, she reached out to the program, never expecting to hear back.
Childhood trauma has a devastating impact on both the mind and the body of children who experience it. But that mind-body connection also offers a path toward healing. A growing body of research demonstrates the effectiveness of addressing the mental and physical impact of trauma through yoga and other somatic, or body-based, programs.
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