Disclaimer: This article is not meant to demonize my parents—they did the best they could with what they had and believed, per their faith, that they were doing what was best for me.
As you will discover, such motivation is a common component of spiritual abuse and important to this conversation. I can look back on my childhood now with gratitude for what it taught me about recovery and my own spiritual identity…Although I hail from the notoriously crime-ridden city of Youngstown, Ohio I was never directly impacted by the social injustices, corruptions and devastations that earned the city of my birth nicknames like, Bombtown U.S.A.
The war zone in my house was not one that you see in movies about the All-American dysfunctional home: whiskey bottles emptying at a steady rate, mortgage payments getting eaten up by the loan shark or the innocent being thrown up against walls or otherwise maimed by flying household objects. There was a much different war that raged on in the battleground of my home and the desired prize was the capture and conquest of my soul.
To read the rest of this article, please visit Elephant Journal.
An Open Letter From a Trauma Therapist to Yoga Teachers: 12 Simple Ways to Make Your Classes More Trauma-Informed (Elephant Journal Piece)
The benefits of yoga practice in helping people affected by trauma can be tremendous, and they are becoming better researched and documented.With so much press on the issue, many survivors of trauma check out yoga classes on their own, unaware that so much variety exists in styles of yoga and teachers.
As a mental health/addiction counselor specializing in trauma, I often suggest yoga for my clients. Since I have an active yoga practice and teach trauma-informed yoga/dance, I am generally able to steer people towards the right fit of style, studio or teacher. Yet many of my well-intentioned colleagues who lack yoga knowledge often tell clients just “go to yoga.”
With the wrong fit, clients may become retraumatized or further alienated from body-based practices.
Addressing my colleagues on guiding folks to the right class is a separate subject. Here, I strive to address yoga teachers in all styles. Traumatized, vulnerable, or otherwise emotionally injured people will come to your classes.
You may believe people will decide whether or not your class is a good fit for them and will naturally check out if your class is too much. Some of you may believe that “yoga is yoga” and the people ought to be informed about what they are getting into.
To read the rest, please visit the original publication at Elephant Journal by clicking HERE.
Dr. Jamie Marich
Curator of the Dancing Mindfulness expressive arts blog: a celebration of mindfully-inspired, multi-modal creativity