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 practitioners and to train healing arts, health and wellness professionals in best practices in delivering trauma-informed care to sexual trauma survivors. 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, embodiment, healing and resilience.
I am also certified yoga instructor with over a decade of teaching experience and I offer group workshops 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 and to bolster my own sustainability and wellness in the field. I now weave the philosophy and techniques of SE into my teaching and I also offering Somatic Experiencing® as a stand-alone practice separate from yoga.
I believe that we live in a culture where most people have not been encouraged to name, feel, and explore their wounds, nor have they been allowed the opportunity to discover how attending to the injuries of traumatic experiences could point them towards the recognition of their inherent wisdom, fundamental 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 events or overwhelming experiences - they can incrementally go within themselves to examine the residual impacts of all they have survived and cultivate awe for all the ways in which they have survived. In this space, with the presence of an empathic and sturdy witness, they may begin to experience the wellspring of their internal strength and tenacity. These micro and macro moments can serve as a touchstone for immediate repair while also building their ongoing resilience. Both trauma-informed yoga and Somatic Experiencing® create a safe-enough, brave and spacious container for intimate, relational, and transformative healing to unfold.
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.