YGB Ambassador Anouk Prop was recently in India working with severely traumatized women & children for Yoga Gives Back, using yoga as a tool in healing in combination with trauma therapy, she is communicating in a language that goes beyond cognition. Learning to breathe freely again, going from surviving to living life. The impact of yogic healing is such a beautiful process to see and reconfirms again and again that there is a way out of suffering in trauma, on a micro level and beyond.
Anouk gave a training ‘Dealing with Trauma’ to all the social workers of NISHTHA working with women and children that are victims of domestic physical & sexual violence, (child) abuse, gang rapes, tortures like acid attacks and many more horrific atrocities. These strong NISHTHA women go into the fields, talk with the victims and empower them to join girls or women groups. It’s a tough part of their job and they have never learnt how to deal with this in their education. On top of that, lots of them have experienced traumas in their own lives that are constantly being triggered while working with these victims. With a high sense of responsibility they try to support these victims as well as they can, but the situations they often face are so painful and horrendous, that they are struggling in dealing with all the traumas they face. As a result they cope with this by disconnecting from their feelings and become numb.
Anouk explained the physiological and psychological mechanisms of trauma and how it affects the whole system and how, if not being treated in the right way, it continues to have a huge impact on their life. The two most important anchors – safety and support – in dealing with trauma became even more clear for them when they started to share their personal experiences and feelings, something they are not used to doing in Indian culture.
Beautiful deep going conversations were happening where there was space for everyone to just be, without any judgement. Exploring simple tools that can be used when dealing with trauma, like emotional stress release, relaxation techniques, meditation & breathing exercises, yoga asanas and energy work, as well as how they can support each other in this, focusing on protecting yourself and letting go. The day finished with ‘hope for the future’ in identifying their resources – what has brought you so far, what keeps you alive, what are your dreams. A new generation is standing up and is making a change by being it.