Interoception and Trauma Recovery


Often described as our “7th sense” interoception refers to our non-cognitive ability to notice, feel and identify internal physical sensation. Complex trauma interrupts and delays a person’s interoceptive pathways, often causing the body to feel unsafe, dangerous and unpredictable. This can manifest as an impaired ability to describe or identify different internal states, a feeling "disconnected," and influences a person’s sense of self. Critically, in contrast to introspection, interoception does not involve any cognitive processing or meaning-making; it is simply our capacity to notice and feel our bodies in the present moment. 


Interoceptive awareness can be worked on and improved. In time, and with safely facilitated practice, it can even form the basis of a new relationship with one’s body. 


In Trauma Sensitive Yoga, we practice “being in our bodies” via interoception. Each posture and movement is explored for its various associated physical sensations, according to what feels useful, supportive and helpful to the client. Participants are always in complete control of their bodies and how they interact with each yoga form, via a range of choices and options provided. They are invited to go at their own pace, to notice and feel their body without reference to external appearance, “correct” technique, or yoga dogma.