Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma


First Look Within

     Ethnic and race-based stress and trauma have been neglected areas of inquiry in most trauma informed therapeutic modalities, including trauma informed yoga. Yet ignoring ethnic and race-based stress and trauma as actualities runs the risk of re-traumatizing people and interferes with their ability to derive maximum benefit from therapeutic intervention and yoga practices in general.

     Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race Based Stress and Trauma is unique because it invites people of all races, ethnicities, cultures and nationalities to examine how living in a racialized world affects each of us; from the stress and trauma of the daily lived experiences of racial wounding that people endure, to ‘White fragility’, an often unacknowledged aspect of racialized stress and trauma.  This book is intended to be a guide for all who are ready to do the work that is necessary to heal our internalized and often invisible emotional wounds.


     It presents ways in which Restorative Yoga aids in the process of uncovering, examining, and healing one's own emotional wounds, and offers insight into avoiding wounding or re-wounding others. It describes how Race-Based Stress and Trauma (RBST) differs from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), what can trigger it, and why a more targeted approach to treatment is necessary. It also considers the implications of an increasingly racially and ethnically diverse and global yoga community, as well as the importance of creating conscious yoga communities of support and connection, where issues of race and ethnicity are discussed openly, non-defensively and constructively.

     The work we have to do requires shifts in consciousness and it starts with individual personal transformation. No law or policy can make that happen. It is time for each of us to shine a light on our own ethnic and racial wounds and to begin the process of healing ourselves. This new revolution is going to be internalized, not broadcast or televised. Now is a time for a change of heart, change that occurs from the inside out. Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma is a book that invites readers to begin by first looking within.


Excerpted from: Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma, London and Philadelphia: Singing Dragon, 2020

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