Thursdays in June and August 2018 4:30 – 6:00pm
$75 for the series OR
$20 drop-in per class
No prior experience necessary.
Email Caroline@MetisCenter.net if you are interested!
Yoga restores the natural rhythm of our nervous system, which is disrupted by trauma. Yoga
teaches us how to self-regulate and stay present with our experience. Yoga has been shown to
have greater success in lessening symptoms of trauma than talk therapy in controlled studies.
When taught with a sophisticated understanding of the mind-body connection, yoga can help us
to discover strength and flexibility, not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. Over
time, we develop confidence and trust in our ability to deal with whatever comes our way.
Trauma lives in the body and 50-60% of adults experience at least one instance of trauma in
their lives. When we experience a threatening or distressing event, either acute or
developmental, our nervous system does its best to protect us. It tells our body to kick into high
gear, producing a tremendous amount of energy with which to run away or fight. Sometimes our
brain assesses the situation and concludes that we cannot succeed in either fighting or running
away and so we freeze. This is an adaptive, intelligent response at the time. However, it is also
when trauma occurs. All that energy gets stuck in the body because it does not have a chance
to express itself physically. Our nervous system becomes overwhelmed and stuck in the past
and we begin to experience mental, emotional, and physical symptoms of unresolved trauma
that are triggered by everyday life.
These symptoms begin with signals on the level of our reptilian brain, which is largely outside of
our conscious control. This part of the brain governs automatic vital systems such as heart rate
and digestion. While breathing takes place automatically, interesting it is one automatic function
that we can also choose to consciously attend to, direct, or change. In yoga, we use the breath
as a line of communication with our reptilian brain to essentially retrain our minds and body to
orient toward the safety in the present rather than the danger of the past.
In this 4-week series, we will introduce breath practices and basic yoga poses gently and
playfully. You will be guided to listen to your own body and be curious about what comes up. No
prior yoga experience is required – the goal is not to get your legs behind your head but rather to
simply notice your breath and physical sensations in order to begin reinterpreting symptoms and
rewiring the neural pathways that have formed as a result of trauma. The series will build skills
sequentially and the effects of yoga come as a result of repeated practice, but you are also
welcome to drop-in for a single class just to try it out.
Week 1: Grounding/Safety
Week 2: Balance/Stability
Week 3: Strength/Confidence
Week 4: Flexibility/Freedom