Top 3 Yoga Poses To Release Trauma


It is no secret that the vast majority of people are subject to post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The levels of stress can vary based on your experience but it is important to remember that everyone’s “rock bottom” is very different. We hold unexpressed emotions in our fascia, which leads to tightness in the body, regardless of how severe your experience seems from the outside, how it felts internally and your ability to feel it determines how much will stay in the cells. Our bodies naturally takes on these events in places like our low lumbar, shoulders, and iliopsoas muscle. We have piled a list of poses for each area that you can work through.

The Lower Back

Our lumbar spine, or the lower back area, naturally carries all the weight for us in our day to day life, so it is very important to give our back some sort of release throughout the day. Before you begin any practice, always start with soft and gentle movements of your spine.

  1. Cat/Cow
    This pose is great to warm up your spine safely while also inviting nice, soft movements into your body.

  2. Reclined twist
    Any twist while laying down on your back will allow you safely and softly release your back at your own pace — which is incredibly important for opening the fascia and the muscles around the lumbar spine.

  3. Seated forward fold
    Flexible hamstrings will offer relief to your lower back. Be sure to use as many props as you need here. Opening the hamstrings and the back side of the body releases tension, anxiety, and calms the nervous system.

The Shoulders

Our shoulders, believe it or not, carry a lot of our pain because when we feel hurt, we close our shoulders in over our hearts and round our bodies. It’s a natural response but it’s also important to open your heart and shoulders again to love.

  1. Puppy pose
    This pose is great for slowly opening your heart to Mother Earth. It allows you to soft relax your shoulders too!

  2. Deep shoulder stretch
    From your stomach, lay down with your arms at a T shape, use your R hand to push your body weight over onto your L side body and L shoulder. Relax your head down and lay your legs out behind you. Switch to the other side when you’re ready! This is a juicy shoulder stretch

  3. Reclined half cow-face pose
    Bring your L arm behind your back with your hand facing up towards the sky then lay down on your bent arm. This is a very intense but relaxing way to open your shoulders

The Hips

Our hips carry a lot of tension because we don’t usually find time to open them so you may feel an emotional release when opening these areas — that’s totally normal! Just enjoy the ride.

  1. Dragon
    This is a very intense stretch of your psoas muscle so go very gently into this as it will stretch areas that carry the most trauma.

  2. Pigeon
    This is a great asana for creating a wider range of motion in your hips. You can either do this sitting upright or laying down over your bent leg.

  3. Reclined butterfly
    This is a very intense pose that you can relax in on your back. It allows your hips to slowly move with gravity to open as they are ready without any force.

I hope this list can help you begin your journey through any trauma you are experiencing! You can hold these poses from 3 to 10 minutes, depending on your level of practice and how comfortable you are. Remember that props are your friends too! Happy healing!

Lexi Faith