The Beginning of a New Journey: Trauma- Sensitive Yoga Certification

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After two and a half weeks in the US I am back in Germany for a few days before we will fly back to Tel Aviv, after three months abroad. My trip to the US has been inspiring on so many levels. I got to spend time in big cities and in the nature. The most important part and reason for the trip though was Boston, where I started the certification program to become an instructor for trauma sensitive yoga. Last week marked the beginning of the seven-month program, which left me feeling so excited for all the learning to come.

Psychological trauma is highly prevalent among our society, but unfortunately often overlooked or not treated with all means. The Trauma Center in Boston has devoted itself to finding evidence- based treatment methods, which successfully help trauma survivors in their recovery. The center recognizes the importance of working both with body and mind to get the best results. Years ago they have started to research the benefits of yoga for trauma survivors and have developed a special trauma sensitive protocol. Studies have proven that yoga, in this certain form, is highly successful in treating trauma as an adjunctive treatment to talk therapy. It is not any style of yoga, which may help trauma survivors, but a very specific program, which was carefully developed by clinicians and a yoga teacher in the trauma center. It is constantly being reviewed to include the newest knowledge of trauma.

In the first few months of the program we will mainly be deepening our knowledge of trauma and then commence to practicing teaching trauma sensitive yoga. I am happy to have some understanding of trauma, as I did my second degree in Trauma Psychology, but there is still always so much to learn and explore. This work is so meaningful and important as it fills a hole in treatment methods for trauma survivors.

I feel as if these few days in Boston have already taught me so much and widened my horizon on so many levels. One of the most inspiring things throughout the training last week has been our teacher’s approach to his work and clients. Through his words and attitude when talking he has transferred an inspiring humility coupled with determination and security towards his work, as well as respect towards his clients and the strength he sees in these people. In psychology I feel as if the client is often being portrayed as someone weak who needs help from someone stronger. The approach our teacher showed has been very enriching and truly inspiring for me.

As a yoga teacher and practitioner I have always understood how important it is to include working with our body and doing so in a non- judgmental and peaceful way without harm and with openness. This understanding has been deepened and widened strongly during the few days in Boston. One of the biggest lessons for me so far has been how important it is to strengthen the students’ choice making and to give opportunities for the student to look inside and listen to their body, instead of me as a teacher telling them what to do. This is extremely important in trauma survivors, but I believe that it is so helpful for anyone. Learning to allow the body to speak to us, allowing ourselves to feel, develop an understanding of ourselves and make choices accordingly can strongly enhance our well- being. I will apply this lesson both in my own practice as well as a yoga teacher and psychologist.
I am so excited for this new journey I embarked on.
Wishing you all an inspiring and fulfilling day,

xxx Sarah

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