Trauma Sensitive Yoga
Healing trauma through movement and embodiment
No intervention that takes power away from the survivor can possibly foster her recovery, no matter how much it appears to be in her own best interests. — Judith Herman, Trauma & Recovery
Who is Trauma Sensitive Yoga for?
What is trauma? Sometimes we encounter experiences that so violate our sense of safety, order, predictability and right, that we feel so utterly overwhelmed-unable to integrate and simply unable to go on as before. Unable to bear reality. We have come to call these shattering experiences trauma. None of us are immune to them. (Stephen Cope MSW)
I believe that all of us suffer from complex trauma to some degree or another. For some, the trauma is so severe that it has caused devastation in the sufferer. But there are also those whose coping strategies are so good that they function well in the world and might never realise that trauma is evident.
I think the COVID pandemic may have lifted the lid for some people as the strategies they would normally employ in order to bypass their feelings such as; work, meeting friends, going to gym, shopping etc are not available. Also the added stresses of either being alone or with family for months at a time, whilst at the same time having choice taken away from you and uncertainty over the future. Has potentially either caused buried trauma to arise or has caused trauma, since we are not able to exercise fight or flight, how many of us have just become frozen with fear?
What to expect in a class
Although TCTSY uses physical forms and movements, the emphasis is not on the external expression, of getting it right. Rather, the focus is more on the internal experience of the participant (interoception). The practice is accessible and open to everyone, regardless of flexibility, experience, age, gender.
There are no physical assists in TCTSY, you are invited, never coerced in your practice. It is a practice that we develop together and practice together. This brings a shared authentic experience; you are practising and experiencing in your body and I am practising and experiencing in my body.
TCTSY can help us to:
reconnect to our body in a protective environment
develop a positive relationship between mind and body
increase awareness of our internal, felt experience
cultivate a sense of agency and empowerment
live in the present moment
rebuild and strengthen relationship to self and others that is authentic and safe
What is Trauma Sensitive Yoga
Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) is a unique validated clinical adjunct therapy that helps support survivors of complex trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in reconnecting mind and body. Trauma Sensitive Yoga has foundations in Trauma Theory, Attachment Theory, Neuroscience and Hatha Yoga practice.
The body (soma) is being acknowledged more and more as a pathway to healing trauma. Founder and Medical Director of the Trauma Centre, Dr Bessel van der Kolk in conjunction with David Emerson, Director of Yoga Services at The Trauma Centre of Justice Resource Institute (JRI), is an internationally recognised leader in the field of psychological trauma. Researchers such as Dr Bessel van der Kolk and David Emerson have illuminated the somatic impact of trauma and clinical trials have provided the evidence base to demonstrate the efficacy of Trauma Sensitive Yoga in reducing the symptoms of complex trauma and PTSD and has been clinically proven to be beneficial for survivors.
The focus of trauma sensitive yoga is on giving participants a safe way to experience their body, and to explore choice making based on the felt sense of their body.
You will always be invited to participate in every step of the practice. It is your choice whether you’d like to accept any invitation or not. As a facilitator, I only use language that is simple, specific, objective, and non-metaphorical. This helps us to develop a safe, authentic relationship.
You have complete control over what you do and do not do. I am here to offer safe, professional guidance that helps you focus on the experiences of moving, breathing, and resting. This helps develop agency and empowerment, and to learn to make choices that feel comfortable in your body.
You‘ll never be asked to share your story, and you aren’t required to go into the history of your experience of trauma. However, you may need to be engaged in a talking relationship/therapy outside of the TCTSY sessions (therapist, counsellor, GP, pastor/priest or social worker).
Individual sessions of 60mins including 45mins of practice and 15mins of orientation time.
£70 per session
£360 course of 6 sessions
Ashridge Yoga Studio