Trauma Informed Yoga

Trauma lives in the body and affects us on a cellular level, which can result in experiences of disconnection and disempowerment.  Science shows that interoceptive skills can also be diminished in survivors of trauma.  It can be excruciatingly difficult for survivors to sense what is happening in their bodies (tightened muscles, increased heart rate, body temperature, etc.), and in addition, their ability to take full, expansive breaths can be compromised.

Through empowering, invitational language, choice is reclaimed by the survivor during Trauma-Informed Yoga (TIY).  Through TIY, survivors can learn to listen to their bodies and move in a way that will nurture and support their needs in any given moment.  After experiencing TIY, survivors can develop a stronger capacity for self-compassion and introspection.  TIY utilizes interoceptive cues which provide the opportunity for survivors to be more embodied and to cultivate a sense of safety within their body.  For example, participants are invited to notice from a place of compassion and curiosity where tension, tightness and constriction might be held in their body and then explore softening those parts to create a little more ease and space. Through regular practice, survivors can feel more grounded and empowered as they learn to self-regulate.  The tools they develop on the yoga mat can translate to their daily lives.  Though survivors may still experience triggers from their trauma, profound freedom is gained when they can respond to these triggers while remaining connected to body and breath. Their ability to be embodied and present is no longer limited by the trauma.

More than anything, Trauma-Informed Yoga honors the survivor exactly where they are in any given moment.  The discoveries they make on the mat can become a way of life off the mat. Trauma-Informed Yoga celebrates the journey of the survivor as they befriend their body and breath, but most of all reclaim their inner wisdom and power within.

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It is proven that trauma lives in the body which is why body-based treatments like yoga can be effective in reducing symptomology. A three year NIH funded yoga and trauma study found that participation in trauma-informed gentle yoga leads to a significant reduction in symptoms of PTSD-including fewer intrusive thoughts and less dissociation from the body.  There are many incredible benefits to a trauma informed practice that survivors have shared including but not limited to: feelings of safety and strength, development of positive coping methods, a development of a strong sense of community, decreased feelings of depression, stress, and anxiety, strengthened self-esteem, and the feeling of empowerment to seek other resources such as counseling and medical support.” ~Zabie Yamasaki, M.Ed, RYT, Founder, Transcending Sexual Trauma through Yoga, Trauma-Informed Yoga Instructor, The Breathe Network: Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher Training Manual

Colleen teaches all of her yoga classes through the Trauma-Informed yoga lens.  Trauma-Informed Yoga is for all people, whether or not you identify as a survivor of trauma.  Hala Khouri describes "being trauma informed as being 'people informed.' A framework that asks us to consider the impact of trauma and stress on our actions and words asks us to be cognizant of people’s humanity while engaging with them, and values safety and respect as the most important qualities of a teacher."

Colleen strives to create a safe, inclusive space through empowering language, invitation of choices, and no physical assists. She weaves themes, philosophy and affirmations throughout the movement and breath practice. No matter what trauma you have experienced, Trauma-Informed Yoga will teach you how to self-regulate, rediscover your breath, and make choices as you reclaim your true self.  Colleen works to create an environment that will empower you to practice yoga in the manner that will most nourish your mind, body, and spirit.

Colleen facilitates the Trauma-Informed Yoga program for Survivors of Trauma at Saint Louis University in partnership with SLU Campus Recreation and Wellness.

In addition, Colleen offers Trauma-Informed Yoga Series for Survivors of Sexual Trauma and Survivors of Trauma at Empowered Spaces. She also offers a series for Caregivers, as well as a Yoga Series for Inner Peace & Wellness at Empowered Spaces.

Colleen has hosted private Trauma-Informed Yoga workshops, series, and Self-Care workshops for various groups, including SNAP (Survivors Network of of those Abused by Priests), Family Court of St. Louis County,  S.A.F.E. Alternatives, Kids In The Middle, Washington University, Pedal the Cause, and Got Your Six PTSD Support Dogs.

UPCOMING YOGA SERIES:

Mary Jo Ryan Memorial Scholarships Available
As a licensed clinical social worker, Mary Jo Ryan was a selfless team player who worked passionately for social justice and was always willing to help others. Mary Jo believed in empowering others, particularly women, who were indigent and underserved. To celebrate Mary Jo’s memory and continue her legacy of community empowerment, the Mary Jo Ryan Memorial Scholarship will offer partial and full scholarships to those in need who would like to participate in an InspireMovement yoga series at Empowered Spaces. If interested in applying, please email Kelly Caul at kkcaul@yahoo.com.

RECORDINGS NOW AVAILABLE
for Yoga for Inner Peace & Wellness Series

Not available on Wednesdays at 5pm CT?
Not to worry!

After you register, simply email me to request *recordings.

*Please note:
-Recordings will ONLY include my screen, even if participants choose to keep their screens on during class.

-Recordings not available for Survivors of Trauma Yoga Series.

-Recordings will be available to view until 3 days after you receive link.

-Recordings will not include our community check-in before & after the yoga practice.

 

Online 10-week Yoga Series for Inner Peace & Wellness 

Wednesdays, 5pm-6:10pm CT

January 6 - March 10, 2021

Livestream Via Zoom OR Recordings

Full Series or Drop-In Allowed. (If you register for full series after the start of the session, I can email you recordings from any classes you missed.) You can also choose to participate via recordings if 5pm CT on Wednesday is not a convenient time for you.

For more info and to register, click here.

 

8-Week Trauma-Informed Yoga Series for Survivors of Trauma

FREE to Saint Louis University students and grad students!  Email Jodi Seals at jodi.seals@slu.edu with questions. For more information and to register, click here:

Spring 2021 Trauma-Informed Yoga Flyer

 

Online 4-week Trauma-Informed Yoga Series for Bereaved Parents

Mondays, 5:15pm-6:45pm CT

March 8 - March 29, 2021

Livestream Via Zoom

Limited to 14 participants

For more information and to reserve your spot, click here.

 

Online 8-week Yoga Series for Inner Peace & Wellness

Wednesdays, 5pm-6:10pm CT

March 24 - May 12, 2021

Livestream Via Zoom or Recordings

Full Series or Drop-In Allowed. (If you register for full series after the start of the session, I can email you recordings from any classes you missed.) You can also choose to participate via recordings if 5pm CT on Wednesday is not a convenient time for you.

For more info and to register, click here.

 

Online 8 week Trauma-Informed Yoga Series for Survivors of Sexual Trauma

Thursdays, 5pm-6:30pm CT

March 25 – May 13, 2021

Livestream Via Zoom

Limited to 14 participants

For more information and to reserve your spot, click here.

 

Save the Date for Future Series (check back soon for more information)

 

8-week Yoga Series for Inner Peace & Wellness

Wednesdays, 5pm-6:10pm CT

May 19 – July 7, 2021

 

8 week Trauma-Informed Yoga Series for Survivors of Trauma

Thursdays, 5pm-6:30pm CT

May 20 – July 8, 2021

 

4-week Yoga Series for Inner Peace & Wellness

Wednesdays, 5pm-6:10pm CT

July 14 - August 4, 2021

 

4 week Trauma-Informed Yoga Series for Survivors of Sexual Trauma

Thursdays, 5pm-6:30pm CT

July 15 – August 5, 2021

 

8-week Yoga Series for Inner Peace & Wellness

Wednesdays, 5pm-6:10pm CT

August 11 – September 29, 2021

 

8 week Trauma-Informed Yoga Series for Survivors of Trauma

Thursdays, 5pm-6:30pm CT

August 12 – September 30, 2021

 

One-on-One Yoga Classes

Colleen offers One-on-One Online Trauma-Informed Yoga classes by appointment. Whether you feel hesitant to join a group yoga class or you simply prefer the style of a private class, these one on one classes can be a powerful way to deepen your embodied yoga practice. You can pick the style of yoga (basics, gentle, restorative, or vinyasa flow) that will most enable you to rejuvenate, strengthen and nourish your spirit!  During this pandemic, Colleen is offering private ONLINE yoga classes.

To learn more, please reach out to Colleen at inspiremovementllc@gmail.com or 314.952.0187.

Special Yoga Group Classes with Friends, Family or Coworkers

Looking for a fun, unique activity to engage in with your friends, family or coworkers? Consider a private class in your home, backyard, or place of work.  I'll bring the yoga mats; all you need to do is pick the style of yoga (basics, gentle, restorative, or vinyasa flow) and invite your buddies! During this pandemic, Colleen is offering ONLINE private group classes.

For pricing, please contact me at 314.952.0187 or inspiremovementllc@gmail.com.

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*Scholarships: Empowered Spaces is committed to doing everything possible to make offerings accessible to everyone. To inquire about additional scholarship please contact Kelly at kkcaul@yahoo.com

"Trauma-Informed Yoga is an empowering yoga practice that prioritizes the lived experience and healing of a survivor." (Zabie Yamasaki)  A safe space is created through empowerment-based language, integration of choices, and the absence of physical assists.  Trauma-Informed Yoga can help survivors find union between disconnected and challenging aspects of the self, allowing participants to slowly build the pieces into an integrated whole - uncovering layers of pain to get to the core of who they have always been.  It provides a venue for survivors to become acquainted with and reclaim their bodies, helps them become grounded in the present moment, and allows them to explore the benefits of mindfulness as they flow breath-to-movement in guided trauma-informed practice and meditation.

Classes explore the deeper meaning behind strength and pain, and allow survivors to build community in a safe, supported, and peaceful environment.

It is proven that trauma lives in the body which is why body-based treatments like yoga can be effective in reducing symptomology. A three year NIH funded yoga and trauma study found that participation in trauma-informed gentle yoga leads to a significant reduction in symptoms of PTSD-including fewer intrusive thoughts and less dissociation from the body.  There are many incredible benefits to a trauma informed practice that survivors have shared including but not limited to: feelings of safety and strength, development of positive coping methods, a development of a strong sense of community, decreased feelings of depression, stress, and anxiety, strengthened self-esteem, and the feeling of empowerment to seek other resources such as counseling and medical support.

Resource: Zabie Yamasaki, M.Ed, RYT, Founder, Transcending Sexual Trauma through Yoga, Trauma-Informed Yoga Instructor, The Breathe Network: Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher Training Manual