I Control My Inner Peace
Four days ago, I completed a 65-hour training in Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy (TIYT). The training was not only a place of learning for me, it was an opportunity to build community, rest and restore (through guided TIYT and Yoga Nidra!), and merge the worlds of yoga and psychotherapy. The work of TIYT is centered about neurophysiology, the Poly Vagal Theory, understanding of the brain, nervous system, and cranial nerves and our responses to activating or triggering situations, Eastern teachings, yogic philosophy, breath work, connection, safety, empathy, and self-regulation. All bundled together in the work of TIYT!
There are many possibilities and ways the work can look and take form. The number one goal of TIYT is the creation of a safe space, to express oneself just as you are with choice and empowerment. YOU choose what feels good in your body. YOU have choice over your body. There is no judgement. As a Trauma Informed Yoga Therapist, I am a guide who creates a safe space, educator, holder of space, a support, and an individual to connect with. With an awareness that certain practices and forms of movement trigger a negative response, I will offer techniques of self-soothing and self-regulation to all practitioners in the class.
TIYT may include:
-Asana (movement/postures): to support an individual or population dependent upon their needs -Breathing: introduction to breathing techniques to activate or deactivate the autonomic nervous system which includes the sympathetic nervous system responsible for fight/flight and parasympathetic nervous system responsible for rest and digest.
-Self-regulation skills: to support the nervous system and vagal nerve, a nerve that begins in the brain and travels down the entire spine. Linked to the parasympathetic nervous system and Social Engagement System which includes the visceromotor system (heart & lungs) and the somatomotor system or somatic nervous system (facial, ears, voice). More to come in my next blog :)
-Use of mantras: words, phrases, sentences of truth or intention. Used as a practice of mindfulness to stay in the present moment and as positive cognitive repetition (positive thinking).
-Mudras: Mudras are hand gestures. Our fingers contain thousands of nerves endings and placing our hands in a particular way cultivates powerful healing energy and subtle responses to our systems, breath, and bodies. You may be thinking this is "woo woo" and that's ok!
Again, the practice is tailored to you and my suggestions are just that, suggestions, invitations, and choices.
-Psychoeducation: If appropriate, education may be provided to learn about the science behind body-based practices, the connection of mind/body, stress on our systems, eastern philosophy, the effects of breathing and self-regulation, etc.
-Discovery: of the situations that activate or trigger you and skills to use in those situations to decrease the fight/flight/freeze responses.
-As a mental health professional, work can include processing of feelings, emotions coming up throughout TIYT work and a greater understanding of the self, reactions, and re-patterning to decrease trauma response situations and anxiety/stress related to symptoms and experience.
Many people do not feel comfortable attending a "westernized" yoga class or studio. It can feel intimidating and disempowering. My hope is to create classes for various communities and populations to attend and participate in yoga regardless of your financial situation, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation.
Through the practice of yoga, individuals gain knowledge through their own experience and the experience begins in the body. This is different from reading from a text and understanding teachings and concepts. The knowledge gained from experience is truly unique and your very own.
This is only the beginning! I am so excited to share more about TIYT and the foundation of this brilliant and effective work. Pleases contact me with any questions or needs.