So stoked to share I have recently completed a trauma sensitive yoga course facilitated by Shirley Hicks. Shirley is a yoga teacher and therapist based on the Gold Coast, Australia. What did I learn? The body remembers! We have the ability to remember and store memories in our brain AND the physical body, muscles, nervous system and cells also remember!
When people are stressed, this means there is an influx of cortisol which is the body’s stress hormone. Cortisol is healthy and we need it to survive! Like everything though, small doses are important. We are living in hectic times right now, in the midst of a pandemic, unemployment is high, domestic violence is escalating with lockdowns globally and mental health conditions increasing globally….and understandably, people are stressed. Cortisol is flowing.
This course was great to understand on a deeper level how the body remembers and stores stress. We can have a memory of an event or even unconsciously hold a memory, never acknowledging what has happened previously at a cognitive level. But, you can’t fool the body! Cos the body can hold onto events, people, environments at a cellular level. This can be good in some instances and in some instances not great.
Trauma refers to a wound. I like to think of trauma as what people can see like a broken arm and also what people can’t see. An internal wound that has never been cared for to heal has a way of rearing its ugly head days, months, years after an event or series of event and can potentially be damaging. Here is information about post traumatic stress syndrome.
I highly recommend seeking professional and medical support for anyone who feels they may need someone to talk to and perhaps need extra support. Counselling and therapeutic support and in some instances medication (pending what health professionals advise) COMBINED with embodied movement can be an effective form of healing. I say this from a yoga teacher’s perspective and also from someone who carried a lot of stress in my body for years. Practicing yoga is in my self-care toolkit which enables me to effectively reset my body and mind regularly.
Embodied movement, meaning – mindful movement, has a way of resetting the body and chemicals flowing through! If yoga is not your thing (God forbid!), tai chi is in the same family of embodied movement and healing. Other ways to reset the body is to simply move. Move and walk to your appointments instead of catching buses, driving or taxis. Walk, run, swim and know it doesn’t matter how your movement looks. What matters is that you are supporting yourself to move and reset your body to offset the cortisol flowing through.
What did we cover in the course?
Session 1 : Developing interoceptive awareness
Session 2 : Choice in class
Session 3 : Supporting effective action
Session 4 : Class rhythms
Session 5 : Sensing dynamics using yoga postures
Session 6 : Developing spatial awareness
Shirley is an experienced counsellor, psychotherapist and yoga teacher! To my yoga teachers, here is Shirley’s website http://www.shirleyhicks.com.au/about-shirley if you are keen to find out more and train directly with Shirley.
Would you like trauma sensitive yoga classes?
Lastly, if you would like trauma sensitive yoga classes in Brisbane, please let me know. I would love to support you!
If you are based on the Gold Coast, please seek out Shirley.
If you are out of Brisbane, drop me a message and we can arrange trauma sensitive yoga classes online.
Yours in good health. Take care!
Photo credit: Thank you to photographer Erol Ahmed! Source: Unsplash