Let It All Go: 7 Poses to Release Trauma in the Body

Colleen Saidman Yee offers poses from her new memoir, Yoga for Life, to release anxiety and trauma from body parts that commonly hold it.
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Colleen Saidman Yee offers poses from her new memoir, Yoga for Life, to release anxiety and trauma from body parts that commonly hold it.
yoga-for-life-colleen-saidman

Colleen Saidman Yee offers poses from her new memoir, Yoga for Life, to release anxiety and trauma from body parts that commonly hold it. Practice with Colleen in person and take her Yoga for Inner Peace half-day workshop at YJ LIVE! in Estes Park, Sept. 24. Spaces are limited, so sign up now!

Colleen Saidman Yee is an acclaimed yoga teacher, former fashion model, and the wife of yogi Rodney Yee. But her journey to becoming "the first lady of yoga" wasn't all glamorous, she reveals in her new book Yoga for Life: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom (Atria Books, June 2, 2015). In the candid, soul-searching memoir (which also offers yoga sequences corresponding to the many chapters of her life), Yee looks back on her hardscrabble roots in Indiana, her addiction to heroin, two divorces, as well as a car accident at age 15 that gave her a broken collarbone, a skull fracture, and brain injuries. It also may have led to the epilepsy she still suffers from today.

"If my accident at age fifteen had any upside, it’s that I have a heightened empathy for the traumas, large and small, that my students have experienced," she writes in her book. "At times, I can see where the trauma is held in their bodies, and I try to figure out sequences that can create relief and release for them. Trauma can show up as tension, anxiety, or illness. Some common places of binding are the pelvis, the diaphragm, the throat, the jaw, the hamstrings, and the shoulders and neck."

Also seeHala Khouri's Path to Teaching Trauma-Informed Yoga

7 Body Parts That Hold Trauma + Poses for Relief

We asked Yee to recommend poses from her book that release each of these "stuck" areas, as she calls them, helping us gain "freedom from the imprints and obstructions that are held in our bodies."