Teaching yoga has always given me purpose and the practice itself has helped me heal some deep wounds. Long before I knew that trauma-sensitive yoga (TSY) was a thing, I knew that I had to find a way to bring this healing practice to those who really need it the most. Until now, I’ve only shared TSY in a private setting, so I’m honoured and (very!) excited to bring this practice to my beautiful home studio in downtown Lethbridge: HeartSpace.
WHAT IS TRAUMA-SENSITIVE YOGA?
Trauma-sensitive yoga (or trauma-informed yoga) is a practice that utilizes invitational language, emphasizes choice, and encourages an embodied experience through mindfulness and somatic exercises, gentle yoga asana and heart-based meditation practices. TSY is safe, supportive, needs-adaptive and exploratory. There is a focus on cultivating awareness of present moment experience, taking effective action, making empowered choices and creating stabilizing rhythms.
In his book, Teaching Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Brendon Abram explains, "Yoga helps with trauma in three main ways. First, it takes our awareness away from a past event experience and into an experience of an event that is happening in the present moment. Second, it teaches us how to expand our window of tolerance to regulate physical, emotional and cognitive sensation. Third, it encourages us to explore the concept that we are connected to something greater than ourselves."
I was trained with the Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY 20-hrs) model and I primarily use this methodology and philosophy to frame my classes; however, my approach largely draws upon my own experiences with yoga, trauma and healing from CPTSD. I have been teaching for 8 years and practicing for 11, but my experiences with trauma forever altered my relationship with yoga, I'm incredibly grateful for this opportunity to share the practice in this way at HeartSpace.
THE HEARTSPACE TSY SERIES
Starting May 9 and running for six weeks, we will meet every Thursday evening at 6pm for a gentle 60-minute yoga practice. Our TSY classes are inclusive to any individual who identifies with having experienced trauma, loss or grief, and will be open to both studio members and newcomers. While you are not obligated to attend every class (nor are you expected to share your story), we do ask that you register for these sessions in advance, as space is limited.
The environment and group will be consistent and you are required to do only as much as you are comfortable with. HeartSpace is equipped with bolsters, blankets, blocks and mats, but you are welcome to bring your own props/mat if you'd like to. We respect your privacy; your personal information and participation in this class will be kept confidential.
Trauma is a subjective experience and affects us to varying degrees. If you feel like this is the right class for you, it probably is; however, if you have any questions I'd be happy to chat and help you decide if our TSY offering at HeartSpace Studio is a good fit for you. (*email me: firstname.lastname@example.org*)
If you're ready to join, register HERE