Karen George was at a loss about how to help her client, a woman so severely depressed that she was unable to leave her house other than a weekly appointment with George in Skidegate in Haida Gwaii, BC. “She was so guarded, her hands clenched at the arms of the couch, like she was ready to run," says the Family Art Therapist. "It was really hard to figure out what to do.” George had tried a lot of approaches, from somatic experiencing therapy to art therapy, but nothing seemed to help. Finally, George decided to try a course on trauma-informed yoga [...]
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So far Delanie Dyck has created 48 blog entries.
For generations, Rishima Bahadoorsingh’s family has practiced meditation, mantra and kirtan as part of daily life. Sundays were for learning about yoga philosophy. The family even took multiple trips from their home in Canada to India, where they would spend several months studying together in an ashram with their spiritual guru. From age four, Rishima was drawn to classical Indian music, kirtan, and mantra. She devoted many years to training in piano, violin, harmonium, Indian percussion, Indian vocals, and Dhrupad or Naad – the yoga of sound. Eventually, she became a talented performer and music teacher herself. Rishima will [...]
Cedar weaving can embody healing for West Coast First Nations “My family has been deeply impacted by colonization,” explains Avis O’Brien of her formative years in Alert Bay, home of the ‘Namgis People, off the coast of Vancouver Island. With her Irish father and Haida and Kwakwaka’wakw mother, O’Brien lived on the “white side of town”. Unfortunately, she associated being Indigenous with all of the negative stereotypes that are so prevalent in Canada. “I had so much shame associated with my identity that I didn’t want any part in it. I was not raised with culture or [...]
Depression and anxiety are frequent visitors for me. The trick is to wait them out, not battle them directly. Instead I meditate daily and practice yoga asana - either through my gym membership ($35/month) or online (internet access $80/month). In my yoga teacher training (approximately $3500), I learned to meditate. Practicing regularly reminds me that I’m not my thoughts, especially not the ones that say, “You suck. You’re a horrible person.” This is only depression talking. Yoga asana reminds me that I am patient and strong enough to wait out this enemy. Physical practice connects my mind to my body and [...]
Yoga every damn day + Positive vibes only = Peace and light. That’s the promise right? Instead we’ve got an international pandemic, a reckoning for racial justice, and we can’t see the light through the smoke of wildfires and conspiracy theories. Are we practicing yoga right? That’s the question we’re asking at our annual conference inviting difficult conversations about yoga. Last year we gathered to talk about sexual assault and silence in yoga communities. This year’s theme is Practice & Praxis. How could we use or adapt our daily practice to encourage the changes we want to see in praxis? [...]
By Tannis Price, therapist-in-training Have you ever found yourself feeling numb to other people’s problems, or to sad stories on the news? Have you ever screened a call from a friend because you just “didn’t have it in you” to hear them vent? Everyone feels this way sometimes, but if you’re in a career on the frontlines of treating trauma, that numbness may be a result of “compassion fatigue,” or burnout. Several studies found that 27 to 37 percent of trauma therapists experienced emotional burnout persistently. As a therapist in training, it’s one of the risks I’m most worried about. Compassion [...]
Nicole Marcia’s self-esteem tanked after she was assaulted by a neighbour more than two decades ago. She shut up the negative voices in her head with drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. In her early 20s at the time, she didn’t connect her behaviour with the assault. Essentially, she just thought she sucked. One day she heard a celebrity talking about yoga on TV, and thought, ‘Huh! I should try that.” A few classes turned into a regular yoga practice, and after a while her mood started to lift as well. But it wasn’t her mastery of backbends, or attaining Madonna's yoga body. [...]
Volunteerism is an important family value of mine. From as early as I can remember, my Grandma and Mom have been avid about donating time and financial resources to their communities. There was an expectation that, if we had privilege, we should reinvest in our communities to help elevate the people who didn’t. The benefits of volunteering are plentiful. Here are four reasons I will always make time to volunteer. Purpose We are all searching for purpose in our lives. My personal “purpose mission” is to leave the world in a better state than I found it. Caring about others is [...]
“Isolation makes any problem bigger,” says Leslie Wilkin, a clinical social worker. Normally, Leslie Wilkin sees her clients at Island Health in Nanaimo face-to-face for depression, anxiety, addictions, and other mental health challenges. Due to Covid-19, in-person therapy has ceased, and her clients have less access to personal supports because of social distancing. Wilkin worries that this disruption to routine could make existing conditions worse. “We look to the people in our network for cues of safety and reassurance. If you can’t get a hold of your counsellor, you can’t go to your group, you’re not meeting friends, and all you’re [...]
Talking to kids about inequality in a way that makes them feel empowered rather than helpless is challenging. The Street Feet Society works with local school districts in Metro Vancouver to engage youth in understanding and supporting issues of homelessness, marginalization and stigma. Here Tannis Price, co-founder of The Street Feet Society shares how she and her partner Nina Sheere explain homelessness to elementary school kids. Ask Questions Usually kids LOVE asking the questions, but this time you get a turn in the driver's seat. Start by gauging their understanding of homelessness. For example: Do you know what it means to [...]