How Yoga Assists with the Effects of Trauma: Sissi Ervasti
For some, yoga can be a chore. But for Sissi Ervasti, it saved her life.
Article by: Nine Honey featuring the inspiring story of Sissi, who used yoga to overcome PTSD after an abusive relationship.
Like three million other Australians, Sissi has lived with depression and anxiety most of her life. But it wasn’t until seven years ago that she found herself in a dark place – one she felt there was no way out of.
“In 2012 I was detained by a partner and severely tortured,” she tells 9Honey of the domestic violence incident. “It resulted in a lengthy court case and was quite unpleasant.”
Following the attack, Ervasti developed post traumatic stress disorder.
“I was struggling a lot with regulating my emotions and having panic attacks.”
She was 30 years old and her depression and anxiety was spiralling out of control.
“It made me afraid of interacting with people in the shopping centre, or even just leaving the house.”
But the longer she isolated herself, the worse her mental state became.
Soon, she discovered Sydney-based charity The Yoga Foundation, an organisation that connects disadvantaged people experiencing mental health issues with the benefits of yoga. The classes and community atmosphere were a welcome distraction from her everyday reality.
While she continues to be a student of the practice, Ervasti is also completing her yoga teacher training through The Yoga Institute and hopes her own experience will inspire others experiencing similar hardship.
“I feel like I have been born again, I guess, because I now have the confidence to go out and live my life.
“Some days are harder than others, I am not going to pretend like it’s all perfect,” she continues. “But with yoga I feel like I have the skills to deal with the bad days.
“Now I know when to be kind to myself, when to go home early and take it easy, when to go out and seize the moment.”
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