Over the last 15 years, I have worked in community-based rape crisis centers as an on-call medical and legal advocate responding to survivors in Emergency Rooms and Police Stations, provided prevention education on college campuses, and directed a campus Women’s Center. In 2012, I founded The Breathe Network in order to link survivors of sexual trauma with holistic healing arts practitioners and to train practitioners in trauma-informed care. My Master’s Degree in International Studies and Master’s Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies, along with my professional and personal experiences, combine to inform my perspective on trauma, embodied healing and resilience.
I am also certified yoga instructor with a decade of teaching experience and I offer public classes and private trauma-informed yoga instruction in Portland, Oregon. I teach workshops focused on the benefits of approaching trauma healing through yoga and facilitate trauma-informed teacher trainings for yoga instructors seeking to enhance their skills in teaching with a trauma-informed lens. When I began my 3-year training in Somatic Experiencing® my intention was to create a more holistic and resourceful container of safety and healing for my yoga students. I weave the philosophy and techniques of SE into my teaching and I am now also offering Somatic Experiencing® separate from yoga.
I believe that we live in a culture where most people have not been encouraged to explore their pain, nor allowed the opportunity to discover how attending to the wounds of traumatic experiences could point us towards the recognition of our inherent wisdom, absolute wholeness and sense of purpose. When trauma survivors are accompanied by highly attuned and compassionate support people - regardless of how long it has been since the traumatic event/s - they can incrementally go within themselves to examine the residual impacts of all they have survived. In this space, they may begin to witness, however subtly, the wellspring of their internal strength and tenacity, which can serve as a touchstone for building resilience. Trauma-informed yoga and Somatic Experiencing® both create a safe and spacious container for this kind of intimate and transformational healing work.
It has been a privilege to have accessed Yoga and Somatic Experiencing® as part of my own trauma recovery process and I am honored and humbled to share these practices with others on the healing path.