What is yoga? The origin of the word comes from the ancient Sanskrit 'yug ' which means to 'merge with' to 'be in union with'. This implies a relationship; the individual merging with the cosmos. It is a state of perfecting oneself on all levels to be in union with ultimate Truth. It is a spiritual practice that tames the body, the mind, the ego and the emotions in order to reach higher levels of consciousness. There are many kinds of yoga and many approaches to yoga, but the goal is essential and the same.
What is qi gong? It is a Chinese term that loosely translates as 'energy work', 'qi' being energy and 'gong' being 'skillfulness'. The term is relatively modern, emerging in the 20th century, but the practice stem back to early history, with references found in Daoist China in the 6th century BC. It is a movement and attitude system for good health and strength by allowing the flow of energy through the body and around the body to be unobstructed.
What is trauma healing? Trauma is a normal part of life, there is no such thing as living a life without some kind of pain, stress, shock or traumatic experience. The intensity of these, of course, varies, as does the capacity to deal with them. That a healthy mind is cultivated when a healthy body is cultivated too, is an ancient wisdom found across all cultures. Old ways of speaking often reveal the interconnectedness of body and mind. And there's the saying 'Time heals all wounds.' Some truth is there, depending on what we've done with that time, what perspectives have we gained, lessons learned, wrongs forgiven, or not. Recognizing that our relationship to trauma is an evolving one in each of our lifetimes, and that we do not need to have trauma define who we are, is important. Traumatic experiences disrupt our sense of health and wellbeing. In pre-modern cultures, collective rituals of dance, song, herbal medicine and prayer were called upon to help release disruptive energies and heal wounds. In modern times, psychotherapists have recognized the effects of the subconscious on human behaviour and have pinpointed 'talk therapy' as a way of airing out what's been repressed and hidden, in the confidential space of therapy. The importance of engaging the body as part of achieving good therapeutic results for mental health were recognized by Eugene T. Gendlin's book Focusing (1978) who describes to psychotherapist how to elicit body awareness as a source of self-knowing and self-healing for their clients. Dr. Peter Levine's approach, Somatic Experiencing, first described in his book, Waking the Tiger (1997), addresses specifically the importance of body awareness for releasing trauma and reclaiming resilience. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk shows, in The Body Keeps The Score (2014), the wide range of therapeutic approaches that bring in body awareness for healing trauma.