My own journey with yoga began when I was 23. I had read about yoga as a teenager in a dusty old book I came across in my parents’ attic, but it wasn’t until I experienced trauma in the form of sexual assault by an armed stranger that I really began to explore the mind-body benefits of the practice as a way to heal the sense of disconnection that arose with post traumatic stress.
Yoga became medicine that enabled me to recover from a sense of mistrust – of my own strength, of other people and of the suddenly unsafe world around.
My own experiences of living in a traumatized body inform my teaching and I have been conducting yoga classes with a therapeutic focus since 2003. I have taught yoga in many different settings, but the majority of clients I have worked with have been impacted by trauma and/or addiction. Locations include Vancouver Coastal Health Mental Health Teams, the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective, Pacifica Treatment Centre, the BC College of Psychologists, New Dawn recovery home for women, Onsite, YWCA’s Munroe House (Canada’s first second-stage transition house), Spirit Way (second-stage housing for Aboriginal women) and a women’s correctional facility.
I am the Coordinator at the Vancouver-based non-profit organization, Yoga Outreach, where I facilitate over 20 yoga programs in a wide variety of venues with clients living with mental health and addiction issues and the impacts of trauma as well as develop and deliver trainings in trauma sensitive yoga. In 2010 I completed a Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher Training at the Trauma Center, Boston, MA. I am certified as a Professional Yoga Therapist with Integrative Yoga Therapy.
I teach therapeutic yoga because I have received so much through my own practice and because I hear from clients about the many benefits they receive from yoga too. My vision is one in which everyone who has felt the devastation of trauma or the destruction of addiction has the opportunity to experience the increased sense of safety, peace and wholeness that a mindful, trauma-informed yoga practice can bring.
Contact me for a private session or to create a class in your community firstname.lastname@example.org