Welcome to this Yoga Tutorial for Mindfulness-Based Program teachers and those in training programs.
When this video was recorded we were aware of the need for precautions regarding striving, zoning out and encountering challenging situations physically and/or emotionally. This is the nature of yoga. In this video you may hear language that gives precautions to practice safely and to work with what might arise in the practice of Mindful Yoga.
However, since the recording was made, we as teachers have become more explicit regarding adverse physical or emotional challenges and have offered more trauma-sensitive guidance. For example, while we always gave permission to sit rather than lie down or to stop or pause if that seemed wise, now we spend more time either at the start or early on in the practice providing options for dealing with what might arise and offering guidance concerning how to make wise choices, all in the interest of giving agency to the participant., and leaving them in choice.
Examples of this trauma-sensitive approach include:
- When mentioning a body part that may have been removed, such as a breast post-mastectomy, acknowledging and normalizing this possibility. This may be done for the particular body part, or as a general statement early in the practice.
- Noting that if there has been surgery, injury, or trauma in an area, memories or concerns may arise. Empowering participants by encouraging them to recognize their own experience and honor what comes up, first attempting, if possible, to focus attention on the area to investigate what is there to be known and experienced. Then, if necessary, choosing to redirect attention by coming back to the present or widening the view or shifting body position. We can remind participants that everything—including thoughts and emotions that arise—is part of the practice, and skillfully working with it is mindfulness.
- Ongoing recognition that the body is often a realm of experience that is ignored, denied, or argued with. Simply allowing the body to be as it is can be a major step towards healing and relating in a new way.
We encourage you to teach from your own embodied practice and to be sure you are knowledgeable in trauma-sensitive mindfulness practice.
All the best,
Kate, Lucia and Patricia