If you’re a holistic Yoga teacher, you may be wondering if it’s really necessary to take a trauma informed yoga training. But until you’ve tried an entire class with only invitational language, you just can’t know how it feels. Here are a few of the beautiful reasons that trauma informed Yoga is different for students. 1. Invitational Language Feels Incredible As I mentioned above, invitational language feels incredible in the ear, and on the mind. It's as if, at every moment, someone is passing you the power to decide how you want to spend your next moment. Trauma informed [...]
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So far Wendy Goldsmith has created 34 blog entries.
In the decade that followed founder Sandra Sammartino stepping back, Yoga Outreach struggled to keep its head above water, both financially and in terms of community support. Beth Sampson, one of the early volunteers, took over as Executive Director. She was a fierce champion of its mission and vowed to build it into a sustainable nonprofit. What was your goal for Yoga Outreach when you took it on? Beth Sampson: I wanted to bring Yoga Outreach into a wider area and build a community that placed a high value on service, standards, education, and community building. My goal was to make [...]
Have you ever wondered how to start a Yoga nonprofit in Canada? 25 years ago, a small, committed community of Yoga teachers wondered if they could teach Yoga in BC prisons. Today, Yoga Outreach Society, a Yoga nonprofit, is a registered charity that offers up to 1000 classes a year in prisons, mental health facilities, addiction recovery centres, and Transition Houses for women who have experienced violence. This is the story of how this influential Yoga nonprofit first started. Yoga teacher Sandra Sammartino demonstrates headstand at her Kairos Studio in the early 90s. The Inspiration In the early 90s, [...]
Creating a consistent self-care routine Did you struggle with your mental health during the pandemic lock down? Are you struggling to get back to a routine now? Here's a plan to help you get back into a good self-care routine AND help others with their self-care at the same time. 25 Day Yoga Challenge October 6 to 30, we’re running a 25 Day Yoga Challenge. We’re challenging all of us to get back into a routine by doing some form of Yoga every day. Register through this link, and we'll invite you to join a private Facebook group. It's filled with [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]