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About Wendy Goldsmith

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So far Wendy Goldsmith has created 34 blog entries.

Relationship is priority in trauma-informed yoga

2020-05-11T12:03:23+00:00

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. [...]

Relationship is priority in trauma-informed yoga2020-05-11T12:03:23+00:00

Why I’ll always find time to volunteer

2020-04-23T10:57:39+00:00

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 [...]

Why I’ll always find time to volunteer2020-04-23T10:57:39+00:00

Yoga at home for depression and anxiety

2020-04-13T09:30:39+00:00

“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 [...]

Yoga at home for depression and anxiety2020-04-13T09:30:39+00:00

Six ways to talk about homelessness with kids

2020-03-18T12:12:37+00:00

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 [...]

Six ways to talk about homelessness with kids2020-03-18T12:12:37+00:00

How trauma-informed yoga empowers cancer patients

2020-03-09T11:54:30+00:00

When we think of trauma, we often imagine an assault from the outside. But when someone is diagnosed with a serious illness such as cancer, the attacker is on the inside. People often report feeling betrayed by their own bodies.  That sentiment is common to students in Bobbie-Raechelle Ross’s Yoga Nidra class at InspireHealth in Victoria and Vancouver. Attendees come to the centre for physical and emotional support with cancer care beyond medical treatments. “They don’t feel safe because their body is too unpredictable. Instead of focusing on their capabilities, their view of their body becomes negative,” says Ross, a yoga [...]

How trauma-informed yoga empowers cancer patients2020-03-09T11:54:30+00:00

Why hands-on assists aren’t right for trauma-informed yoga

2020-02-10T12:14:06+00:00

Touch can be relational, connecting, healing, and necessary for well-being. But Yoga Outreach (YO) classes are touch-free zones for several important reasons.  First, no-touch zones make classes feel safer for some survivors of trauma.  Not all of YO’s students are trauma survivors. But a high proportion of people in prisons, addiction recovery centres, and domestic violence Transition Houses where YO offers programs do come from abusive backgrounds. Common adjustments such as guiding hips backward in Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), or turning shoulders to face forward in Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1) can trigger frightening memories. “Having someone in a position of [...]

Why hands-on assists aren’t right for trauma-informed yoga2020-02-10T12:14:06+00:00

Why use invitational language in trauma-informed yoga?

2020-01-13T11:41:18+00:00

  Directly commanding someone to move their body in a certain way can trigger a defensive response, particularly for survivors of trauma. By swapping “invitational language” for a more direct style of instruction, teachers may help students to recover feelings of autonomy, self-esteem, and even joy in their bodies.  “Invitational language creates an opportunity to experiment in their body and to build awareness of sensations on their terms. It’s a skill I would argue is more useful in daily life than nailing a perfect form according to one particular yoga lineage or another,” says Sarah Holmes de Castro.  Holmes de Castro [...]

Why use invitational language in trauma-informed yoga?2020-01-13T11:41:18+00:00

Christmas Mourning

2019-12-11T15:47:45+00:00

Last week I attended our workshop with Alica Forneret on grief. I was really looking forward to digging in and talking about grief, how it can swirl around a drain slowly, and then suddenly burst the pipes when you’re not expecting it.  You might think this is a bit late as a marketing attempt for a workshop. That would be true. But grief doesn’t let you meet your deadlines. Grief has its own interesting timeline.    When my father died December 7th was the one-year anniversary of my father’s death. His death was a surprise, but not unexpected: he was 85. [...]

Christmas Mourning2019-12-11T15:47:45+00:00

A New Way to Pay for Yoga Outreach Workshops

2019-07-12T14:22:37+00:00

Yoga Outreach is trying out sliding scale payments for our exciting new Knowledge Development series in Vancouver beginning fall 2019. That means folks will have three options at check-out for each course: Tier 1 - Pay the true cost of the class, including the facilitator’s time, the facility, and administrative costs. This is what we would charge all students in the absence of a sliding scale.  Tier 2 - Pay this amount if you can’t attend at the full price, but you have a steady enough income to cover your basic needs, plus a few treats each month. Please consider drawing [...]

A New Way to Pay for Yoga Outreach Workshops2019-07-12T14:22:37+00:00

Lessons in Conference Planning – After Boundaries and Bridges 2019

2021-11-10T18:12:33+00:00

why host a conference about bad stuff? On May 25, Yoga Outreach hosted its first ever conference: Exploring Boundaries, Building Bridges: Connecting Yoga, community, and self. We started by booking Matthew Remski, who had recently published a book about the aftermath of sexual abuse revelations in a well-known yoga community. While planning this author visit, we realized that there was even more to talk about. In the case of Pattabhi Jois, victims were fearful of coming forward against this popular important leader, and communities around the world reacted with complete denial, vicious anger, or suggestions that victims simply didn't "get" what [...]

Lessons in Conference Planning – After Boundaries and Bridges 20192021-11-10T18:12:33+00:00

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