What to Expect From a Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TSY) Class Part 1
There are 5 key elements you can expect from a TSY class:
- Choice & Action
One of the key elements of the TSY class is the consistency in the sequence of postures, music and environment. Consistency is key in creating an environment that allows for the possibility of softening the parts of us that are consistently onguard knowing the series of movements, music and environment will be consistent from week to week. This allows for the opportunity of being more present in class with what’s actually going on in your body instead of constantly scanning the environment and having to adjust to differences.
Choice & Compassionate Action
In a TSY class one of the most fundamental principles is the principle of choice and compassionate action. In a TSY class there is an invitation that after starting to become more comfortable with sensing your body from the inside out (feeling your belly expand when you breathe in, etc) you will start to notice what feels comfortable and what feels uncomfortable from the inside out. From that place of sensing you are empowered to make a choice in the moment to explore what might be more comfortable for you physically. From there, you are free to take action on what will be the most compassionate action for your body in the present moment.
For example, you may be sitting cross legged to begin the class. From this place you notice your hips are a bit sore (sensing). Following your sense of your body in the present moment, you explore different choices for the present moment such as laying down, sitting on a block, etc., that would be more comfortable for you (choice). Finally, you determine laying down in the present moment is what is going to be most comfortable/compassionate to your body so you may your way to a reclined posture (compassionate action).
As simple as this sounds, this is a HUGE component of the practice as this process of sensing:choices:action can have sizeable impact in your daily life in other areas where this chain of experiences together can be helpful for you. For example, let’s say you are in a work meeting and a comment is said that is upsetting to you, your heart starts to race and you feel shaky (sensing). You start to explore different options that are supportive for you in the moment such as speaking up, leaving the meeting, deep breathing, etc (choices). Finally, you determine deep breathing and speaking up after the meeting is what is going to be most comfortable/compassionate to yourself in the present moment so you start to deep breathe and make a note to follow up after the meeting (compassionate action). This can be replicated in MANY different environments and TSY is a great place to offer a very safe way to practice this chain of experiences.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of What to Expect from a TSY Yoga Class where we will cover the final three principles including safety, sensing and compassion.
TSY is a safe and gentle way for individuals to experiment with being comfortable in their body. Through experimentation with breathing, poses, movement, stretching and strengthening I aim to reconnect survivors with the greatest source of wisdom; their bodies. Studies have shown that TSY increases interoception (our 6th sense), decreases PTSD symptoms, increases the ability to remain grounded in the present moment and more fully develop a sense of self.
Below are some items to consider when determining if this is the right fit for you.
- No experience needed. Classes are made accessible to everyone, regardless of physical ability.
- No hands-on assisting by instructor, ever.
- Class size limited to 10
- Please bring your own mat.
- This is an open group.
- First come, first serve. Pre-registration not required.
- Payment is due upon admission.
Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TSY) Starts March 15th
***Space is limited to 10 participants***
The class will be: Every Other Thursday afternoon from 4:30-5:30 at 5366 S Bannock Street Littleton, CO 80120 (Located inside the Overstreet Dance Studio).
Parking on Bannock Street is easiest. Signs will be posted to assist with finding the room.
While this series is starting up for women I am really looking forward to offering a men’s class on the corresponding Thursday’s in the same location and the same time! Please click here to sign up for the Men’s Trauma Sensitive Yoga class list.
As always, it is my sincere privilege to offer up this space for healing.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments.