The Must-Read Book Club
Erin Diego-Benard: I saw this in the NY Times book review a few years ago and felt it was an important study that I needed to read for personal and professional reasons. It's not a easy feel good read, but Dr. Van Der Kolk, M.D. writes warmly and clearly about an emotionally difficult subject matter. His years of real case studies, science, and innovative treatments, gives me hope for the future of trauma recovery work.
YCNYC: Favorite quote?
ED-B: "Being frightened means that you live in a body that is always on guard".
YCNYC: What one person would you recommend this book to?
ED-B: Anyone interested in trauma, PTSD, and C-PTSD research. An important read towards understanding trauma's long term affects, and new recovery options through neurofeedback, meditation, yoga, drama, etc..
YCNC: What moment or part resonates with you the most?
ED-B: Honestly it all resonates, but for my work as a yoga instructor it would be the chapter on learning to inhabit your body through yoga (Chapter 16).
Trauma memory is stored in the body (as well as the mind), "When people are chronically scared or angry, constant muscle tension ultimately leads to spasms, back pain, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, and other forms of chronic pain".
As a yoga teacher, just being aware of how small cues can help heal through 'bottom-up regulation', producing a steady heart rate by focusing on breath practice, holding the present (and noticing sensations as only sensations and not a threat), encouraging a relaxed and calm approach to poses. I don't always know in a studio situation if one of my students sufferers from trauma, but I try to approach every class with a sensitivity to stress, which is why so many of us find yoga in the first place.
You can purchase The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma here.
Have a Must-Read book to recommend? Email us here.