Felicia Savage Friedman: On a Mission to Heal as a 2018 Women to Watch


Incidences of trauma are making daily headlines in our country. Many inhumane occurrences, whether it is mass shootings, domestic violence, sexual assault and its response to the #Me-Too movement, the loss of a young life due to gun violence, and the traumatic impacts of racism are bringing trauma and trauma healing to the forefront of the national conversation. Trauma can lead to physical health issues if not addressed immediately including nervous tic disorders, abdominal tension, migraine, chronic shoulder and neck tensions, sunken chest syndrome, and feelings of sadness or despondency. Trauma can be experienced by individuals or by entire communities and is inherited multi-generationally through socialization and in human DNA.

Felicia Savage Friedman, a well-known Raja Yoga advocate and practitioner, as well as, the founder of YogaRoots On Location headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, created an initiative to emphasize the positive effects of Raja Yoga especially for those who struggle with anxiety and life altering events in their lives. Felicia has been practicing this path of self-discipline for almost three decades. Raja Yoga is integrated with other modalities such as Reiki and Aromatherapy throughout Felicia’s honoring work including behavioral observances and restraints, breathing techniques, honoring movements, sensory withdrawal, self-reflection, concentration and the art of a universal mediation practice leading to an ultimate purpose-driven life by way of this intimate and thoughtful Raja Yoga practice.

Many Years Spent in Yoga

Felicia transformed her many years of Raja Yoga practice and training into a movement of activities to address the overwhelming magnitude of trauma issues resulting from widespread social conflict, violence, discrimination, and systemic racism. Trauma-informed Raja Yoga practice and discipline does not claim to represent a cure, but it can support individuals in dealing with the adverse effects of trauma and provide tools for transforming mental, physical and emotional wounds.

Fight Trauma through Yoga

Felicia says us humans need to practice being more objective about those things that happen to us in order to see the situation as not being so personal.   In doing so, the person will realize they are not the trauma, but that the ordeal happened to them. Raja Yoga practice helps the traumatized person to return to their balance and whole state of being by witnessing the experience from a safe and comfortable location within the body. Through practicing, humans can become a bit more able to cope and handle stress so that our recovery and bounce back time is shortened.

Distressing experiences cause the body to become dysfunctional or operate abnormally by the suppression of our over-activation of the so-called flight, fight, or freeze, acute stress response, as the traumatized individual becomes filled to capacity with overwhelm and anxiety. The body holds and displays this distress following a traumatic occurrence which accumulates toxins with additional incidents over time. The effects of compounding traumas impact cognitive abilities and patterns of behavior.

Yoga and Reactions to Stress

Many clinical research studies have observed the effects of different types of Yoga on the intense response to stress. Stress is the human body’s natural reaction to mild to severe mental, physical emotional pressures. The practice of Yoga can not only prevent physical injury, but can also be used by persons encountering nervous tension such as ruined relationships, sudden changes in life, and challenges posed by recovery from substance or alcohol abuse or addiction.

The frequent and regular practice of Yoga decreases primary stress hormone levels of Cortisol that often leads to serious mental, as well as, physical health concerns. In other words, Yoga is a proven way to decease Cortisol levels while allowing the body to return to a state of soothing, peaceful awareness. This, in turn, enables the physical effects of the stress response to stabilize giving the body an opportunity to heal and live a more humane existence.

About YogaRoots On Location

YogaRoots On Location offers anti-racist professional development courses, a Certified Raja Yoga Teacher Training, as well as, integrative and individual group yoga classes. Felicia is an anti-racist integrative Raja Yoga teacher and trainer and she lends support to anti-racist initiatives in organizations, institutions, and communities guided by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond Undoing Racism Principles (pisab.org).

Felicia Savage Friedman’s latest ventures includes the development of a comprehensive Raja Yoga curriculum that will certify young people ages 13 – 18 to become Yoga teachers with YogaRoots On Location.

For additional inquiries, interested individuals may browse through the YogaRoots On Location website http://www.yogarootsonlocation.com/ , call the business telephone number at 412-512-7779 or email Felicia at: smileandlaughoften@gmail.com

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