In May of 2013 I attended a specialty course in Los Angeles called “Supporting People with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder through Kundalini Yoga.” It was a four day training put together by The Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine and Humanology with the intention of training teachers to implement a specific eight (now ten) week curriculum in various populations with PTSD. The kriyas, or yoga sets, were chosen to restore internal rhythmic balance, increase vitality, improve sleep, and work with the psoas muscle where trauma is believed to be held in the body. These kriyas and meditations work for trauma survivors regardless of the source of trauma. The program is effective for both simple and complex trauma. Clinical diagnosis is not a pre-requisite for participation.
Although the curriculum is the same for all populations, many students appreciate taking part in a course with others who have had similar experiences. Classes can be formed for war veterans, survivors of domestic or sexual abuse, those who have experienced birth trauma or pregnancy loss, and other groups. I've found my niche to be working with mothers who have experienced childhood trauma, birth trauma, or traumatic pregnancy loss.
I took a PTSD course from Ravi Inder (Gloria) in the Fall of 2013, a year after an extremely difficult and traumatic birth that resulted in a pretty large reconstructive surgery. During the first few weeks I simply felt more relaxed and I enjoyed the “alone” time that I received every week, but toward the end of the course I found myself asking my husband when would he be ready to try for another child. This was quite the shock to both of us. Before starting this course I would have never dreamt I would come so far in such a short time being as I couldn’t even think about a second child let along the actual action of conceiving and birthing this second child. I give this program full credit for helping to process both the external as well as internal trauma I was dealing with and allowing me to get back to a state of acceptance and peace.
While taking Gloria’s course on PTSD I felt comforted in a number of ways. Firstly, just being in the same room with other people battling similar issues helped me feel less judgmental of myself. Seeing the other faces and watching them go through the process and enabled me to have more empathy for myself. This was my first step towards healing. Similarly, learning that there was a vast library of Kundalini research and practice dedicated to helping people with PTSD helped me shed my deep sense of failure to cope. I replaced that shame with comfort, acceptance and nurturance.
Gloria created a safe and warm space for us to do exercises that might look or sound silly. She educated us on the history and effectiveness of the exercises which was very motivating. Sometimes the chants and exercises were very difficult so it helped to focus on the benefits while doing them.
Gloria is interested in each individual’s journey. So much so that she stayed in touch ‘after hours’ during the week to send me articles, answer questions, and remind me that other people care.
Before the class, I had been having panic attacks and insomnia every night for 4 months. Three weeks into the course, I stopped having them and experienced a deep deep relief that continues to this day. I feel supported by a wide network of Kundalini practitioners past and present, and I feel that a massive resource for coping for almost any trouble that comes my way is within reach.