The purpose of this study was to describe the experiences of practicing yoga and its role within processes of healing for adult women with complex trauma histories. Using a hermeneutic phenomenological method, data were analyzed from interviews with 39 women. Results showed that the core meaning of participants' experience of healing through yoga is claiming peaceful embodiment. This is an ongoing process occurring on a continuum whereby women experienced improved connections with and sense of ownership and control over their bodies, emotions and thoughts, and a greater sense of well-being, calmness, and wholeness in their bodies and minds. A number of interconnected essential themes related to this core meaning were also identified, illuminating processes that supported claiming peaceful embodiment and capabilities that were enabled by being more peacefully embodied. Additional themes were identified highlighting factors that facilitated or impeded participants' engagement with yoga and their experiences of healing through yoga.
Keywords: Phenomenology; Posttraumatic stress; Trauma; Violence against women; Women's health; Yoga.
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