Helen Mison – Trauma-Support Yoga Teacher Foundation Training with Trauma Centre for Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, Melbourne, Australia – Affiliated to Trauma Centre, Massachusetts, USA
I’m so happy you found your way to this page and are considering joining trauma support yoga classes. This gentle ten-week yoga program is very dear to my heart and I am eager to share the benefits with you. Two years ago, at age 50 (why sooooo long? better late than never as it’s said) I was told by a counsellor that I was suffering with past traumas (complex post traumatic stress disorder). This came as a surprise to me. I had not felt “right” for most of my life, it actually was a relief to have a name and to be able to find out more. Amongst the ongoing emotional battles, I delved into learning as much as possible about past trauma effects. I read and studied a lot of material on post traumatic stress disorder and along with getting the counselling help I needed, I learnt so much. I learnt how trauma is primarily stored in the body and as a massage therapist and yoga teacher this took me on a journey to practise and study yoga for trauma support. Yoga has been a big part of my own personal healing journey and now I am ready to help others with my very first yoga support class program.
Yoga is one of the very best ways to support the body and mind to manage trauma effects. If you feel this will help you, please read on.
You do not need to have done any previous yoga or even be flexible as these are gentle body movements specific to your own body’s needs. You have the choice to use a chair (this is supplied) or a yoga mat, or a combination of the two.
Trauma is more common than most people realise. Approximately 60% of men and 50% of women experience at least one trauma event in your lifetime, according to National Centre for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Trauma support yoga classes are specific to supporting adults and youth who have experienced trauma, including post traumatic stress disorder.
Trauma support yoga can assist you in managing stress and symptoms of anxiety and trauma, according to the Mayo Clinic. A study published in 2014 in the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice suggested that this type of yoga is a promising approach for trauma support.
The objective of trauma support yoga is not to access emotions or dredge up trauma memories, but rather to help you heighten your body awareness – to notice what is happening inside your body, to learn to release tension, reduce and control fears and nervous system overwhelming arousals.
Trauma support yoga is based on the growing understanding that trauma takes a heavy toll on the body and the brain. When the body absorbs and anticipates trauma, you are more likely to experience hyperarousal, hyper-vigilance, and sometimes an inability to calm yourself. At the same time, your body responds by dampening or closing down sensations (disassociation). You may then, avoid stimuli and your body can become numb.
How Trauma Support Yoga can help you
Trauma support yoga helps my clients to learn how to regulate physical responses, emotions and settle their mind and nervous system. Added to this is the ability to be able to learn how to recognise and tolerate physical sensations and help regain a feeling of safety inside your body, as trauma is often stored in the body.
Trauma support yoga is a body-based therapy, which may act as a treatment bridge, increasing a sense of awareness, safety and mastery over one’s body while building skills to effectively interpret and tolerate physiological states. Trauma support yoga can help restore a sense of balance and regulation to your nervous system.
Trauma support yoga is different from other forms of yoga, the emphasis is on helping you feel safe and giving you more choices about how to practice body movements, even whether or not you should attempt certain movements. It provides healing for people dealing with trauma, as well as techniques to cope with emotional scars whilst boosting your physical well-being.
Some of this information is referenced from:
Centre for Trauma and Embodiment at the Justice Resource Institute.
For more information, please visit www.traumasensitiveyoga.com
How is Trauma Support Yoga Practiced?
Private lessons and group classes are available, this includes yoga movements relevant to your individual body, breathing exercises, relaxation and mindfulness, helping you to be more in the moment.
With gentle guidance you are encouraged to see this as your own personal practice and shape it however you choose. This practice helps you heal from the inside out when coping with trauma.
Trauma support yoga is about offering individual choices. It can be practiced on a chair, standing on a yoga mat or lying down on a yoga mat on the floor, or a combination of all three.
If needed, you may be encouraged to undergo some form of counselling therapy in conjunction with your trauma support yoga lessons.
Trauma support yoga is a process of healing, most benefit is gained by attending all 10 classes. Classes have a maximum of 10 clients (including any support workers). Classes are for one hour, once a week, for 10 weeks.
If you are under 18 years of age you are required to have a guardian or support person 18+ years of age with you for private lessons and classes.
If a support person is attending with you, they will need to participate in the yoga classes. It is not appropriate in these classes to have anyone in the room who is not participating. Payment for a support person to attend with you is $10 a class.
What to Bring to your trauma relief yoga classes?
- Bring your own yoga mat, it must be strong and made with non-slip material. Chairs are provided if you choose this option
- Bring a yoga bolster or cushion to support you
- A light blanket or towel for relaxation
- Water bottle
In some cases, funding for private lessons and classes may be provided by your health care support agency.
Dates for next 10-week class program: Each Monday beginning 6th September to 15th November 2021. This is excluding Queen’s birthday public holiday 4th Oct.
Time: 10 to 11am (please arrive at 9.50am)
Location: Tannum Sands Progress Hall, corner of Pacific Ave and Ocean St. Opposite Fit Life juice bar
Cost: $250 for 10-week class program and $10 per class for a support person
Booking can be made on this website by clicking “make a booking” button below or by contacting Helen on 0421 575 056
Private yoga lessons and remedial massage treatments are also available at Serenity Health Studio. Private health insurance rebates are available for massage therapy treatments.
Please contact us for class timetable
Private Lessons at Serenity Health Studio
Adults and youth (if you under 18 you must have a guardian/support adult attending and participating with you).
Packages are for 1 or 2 participants.
In some cases, funding for private lessons or classes may be provided by your health care support agency.