What is Trauma Sensitive Yoga?

Trauma Sensitive Yoga
By Patricia S. Farrell LCSW-R, RYT

Yoga means to yoke or union, union of the mind, body and spirit. Healing on a psychological and emotional level is often about union in the mind between past present and future. So there seems a natural connection between the two. When one survives a trauma they are often still struggling to live in the present and not in the past. Often the brain continues to interpret traumatic events as if they are still happening or might happen again at any moment and the systems in the body respond by holding on to tension.

Trauma sensitive yoga draws on theory from neuroscience, trauma theory and attachment theory. The goals of yoga are to assist trauma survivors to develop more comfort in their body, improve self-regulation skills and to find a sense of choice in their experience.

These goals are achieved byyoga icon

–       practicing making choices
–       emphasizing the present moment experience
–       offering opportunities to take effective action
–       creating rhythms (time, interpersonal and intrapersonal)
–       focusing on spatial orientation and sensing dynamics

Trauma Sensitive Yoga helps to improve interoceptive awareness (knowing what one feels), increase empowerment and decrease many physical responses to trauma.

Patricia S. Farrell, a licensed social worker and registered yoga instructor, will offer an 8-week Trauma Sensitive Yoga Group at One Big Roof beginning February 23rd.

What is Embodyoga?

What is Embodyoga ® by Anna Witt

Practicing Embodyoga is to enter the body-mind fully with clarity of awareness, self-acceptance, compassion, and awe. It enables you to rediscover yourself and align yourAnna Witt Embodyoga consciousness with a much higher, wiser, and peaceful expression of self. Embodyoga is an evolving tapestry, woven from the deeply healing, therapeutic, and spiritual essence of yoga and cutting edge studies in the field of body-mind and consciousness.

Embodyoga classes and private sessions are appropriate for beginners to advanced practitioners. Each student is gently empowered and supported to move in accordance with his or her own abilities, creating space for personal observation and learning.

Each session is developed around your personal needs and focus, such as:
– Movement re-education following injury or surgery
– Healing trauma
– Maintaining health with specific focus
– Restoration for balancing stress
– Regaining strength, balance, coordination
– The joy of movement, breath, and meditation in movement
– Increase in gaining self-awareness, compassion and peace of mind

Anna Witt, E-RYT-500, is a passionate Embodyoga® teacher and certified Body Mind Centering® practitioner, RMT. Known for her inspirational teaching style and her innovative method for bridging the gap between ancient yoga wisdom and the cutting edge of body-mind and consciousness, she has been working with individual clients for over 15 years. For a complete schedule of Embodyoga classes and Anna’s contact info see the One Big Roof yoga schedule.



Stress Reduction for Optimal Health

Stress: Friend or Foe? By Pierre Zimmerman, Co-facilitator, Saratoga Stress Reduction Program

We live in times of continuous stress in our personal and professional lives — time conflicts, imbalance between “doing and being,” exposed to too much information, multitasking and less connected to others than ever. Why are some people more resistant to stress than others? How can we become more resilient?

The answer has to do with our attitude and perceptions as to whether we accept stress or suppress it, see it as a challenge or a threat. Some amount of stress helps body and mind. Blood vessels dilate and remain more relaxed, the heart pumps more blood, which releases more oxygen to the brain for clarity and processing thoughts, emotions and feelings. Our cells stay active and young and the adrenals and cortisol levels go back to a normal baseline. However, prolonged stress is dangerous for health
 and homeostasis. The metaphor of a hunter’s bow can be helpful. If we pull the bow taut and overstrain it, resilience is lost and the bow breaks. So do our bodies and minds when they are under stress, eventually leading to “dis-eases” or illness.

Minimal or occasional stressors motivate us, stimulate growth and help us develop balance. Our attitude
is what determines our ability to integrate them. Circumstances are always neutral. Most stress is created by our mind, which monitors and regulates the flow of energy and information we create or are exposed to. What is needed for us to respond in a healthy way? Relaxation exercises, meditation, embodied awareness movement and yoga, beneficial communication skills, cultivating loving kindness and compassion for oneself and others are essential for us to flourish. Exercising the muscles of the mind and heart of compassion are necessary, because the body and the mind are one.