This article originally appeared in MindBodyGreen.com
Dr. Gail Parker is a psychologist, a certified yoga therapist, a lifelong practitioner of yoga and president of the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance (BYTA) Board of Directors. Her upcoming book, Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma (with illustrations by Justine Ross), offers self-care strategies for stress reduction and trauma recovery from race-based traumatic stress. The book invites everyone, not just those directly impacted, to explore the intersection of yoga, race and ethnicity.
Restorative Yoga is a self-care practice that supports stress reduction and can aid in recovery from trauma. It is well established that trauma and stress are not just mental constructs, but actually exist in the body.
The body has an awareness that is deeply visceral, different from cognitive awareness. Restorative Yoga supports embodied awareness, which is awareness that reaches deep into the nervous system, where contracted states caused by stress and trauma can release. This is where profound and lasting change takes place.