Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Healing Power of Yoga

by Sabrina Sadler, Social Outreach Intern
Yoga group for Sexual Assault Survivors on college campuses! This group started a year ago at CSU, Sacramento with the continuation each semester. Check out your local college to see if they have a healing group for survivors or maybe you can help start one.
Sacramento State’s Student Health Center will host four sessions of “Yoga and Healing for Sexual Assault,” an innovative, evidenced-based program for sexual assault survivors. The two-part program consists of a yoga session led by respected instructor Tamara Lee Standard, and a group discussion focused on healing for sexual assault survivors led by Cathy Connors. Connors, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who has worked in the mental health field for over 15 years…

“We’ve received student interest before the semester started,” says Jessica Heskin, coordinator of Violence and Sexual Assault Support Services at the Health Center. Heskin is hopeful that the sessions will give survivors immediate tools to reduce anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder symptoms. “We want the students to leave that day with something that may help them.”

According to Heskin, “Yoga helps decrease symptoms by utilizing relaxation techniques. The memory of the trauma is imprinted on the human body; yoga helps reconnect the survivor with their physical self, thereby reestablishing a friendly/positive relationship with one’s body.” A number of research studies have shown that yoga in conjunction with more traditional therapy decreases Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms in veterans. Similar services have begun to be provided at rape crisis centers in the country. These sessions would be a first at Sacramento State…

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