Gain knowledge of your nervous system, trauma responses, and the connection between trauma and the psoas, diaphragm, and vagus nerve.
Learn different techniques and yoga practices that support you to process trauma and stress, prevent them from building up, and maintain the balance of your nervous system.
Journaling, meditation exercises and a personal mentoring session with Sandra to help you bring more conscious awareness to this process and integrate what you’ve learnt into your everyday life.
Trauma is a multi-layered word. Though it is often used in the context of extreme, life-threatening situations, its definition can be much broader.
Trauma can be generated by any distressing or disturbing situation that overwhelms your system. It could be childbirth, a divorce, an unhealthy workplace, a house move, falling down the stairs, an operation... Be it a dramatic, life-changing event or a quiet, seemingly innocuous one, it may still have the power to generate a strong physical or emotional response long after it's over. We all respond differently to stress and trauma but if not processed, both can have far-reaching consequences that impact us and those around us.
This course will give you the theoretical knowledge and the practical tools to enable you to process deeply-stored stress and trauma, deal with traumatic and stressful events more skillfully, support you in maintaining a healthy nervous system - and ultimately help you to live a happier, healthier, more relaxed and balanced life.
Gain a basic understanding of the nervous system and different responses to trauma.
Understand the connection between trauma and the psoas, the diaphragm, and the vagus nerve.
Learn how different yoga modalities can influence the way trauma is processed, help to prevent the build up of stress in our bodies and - once the ‘stress-container’ is emptied - maintain a balanced nervous system.
Practice breath work, movements, mantra, meditations and yoga nidra.
Walk away with the tools to create your own stress-release practice.
The course covers 4 key themes and there is a lecture and practice on each theme. You will also be invited to do homework exercises, but these are not compulsory for completion of the course. We encourage you to take your time with this course - the more time you take, the greater the chances that the effects will resonate long-term. We suggest you focus on one class (theme) per week and repeat it at least once.
A word of note: some of these practices may bring up uncomfortable emotions or sensations. Please make sure you progress at a pace that feels right for you. You can pause a class or the course and return to it at any point. You are also welcome to discuss any obstacles or issues you are facing in your one-to-one session with Sandra.
An exploration of the definition of trauma and the different ways we might respond to it. We also look at some of the benefits of learning to process stress and trauma and suggest how to get the most out of this course.
Welcome to the first class of this course. You’ll learn about the 3 states of neurophysiology - the functioning of the nervous system - and the importance of optimising movement between them. We’ll explore how feeling safe and grounded is the key to allowing our body to process information, and look at how our body responds to external and internal cues.
For the body-nervous system to release, it needs to feel safe - not from an intellectual perspective - but from a felt sense. This grounding practice is all about creating safety in the space around us and within our own bodies. It includes standing movements, a diaphragm massage and floor belly breathing.
We look at how the human body physically reacts when our sympathetic nervous system is activated and the effects on our system (physical, emotional and mental) when this tension builds up over time. We also explore different ways of releasing trauma and tension and how we can give our body a helping hand.
This class encourages more body awareness and explores the psoas connection. The practice is designed to release some of the stored-up tension in the psoas muscle. We move slowly and mindfully to create a feeling of safety in the body. The class also includes body tapping, breath work, and restorative yoga. Have a block, blanket, sand bag or heavy bolster ready for this practice.
Having explored the 3 autonomic states - flight, fight, freeze - which are all outside of our control, we move our focus onto another state: social engagement. This is linked to a large nerve which runs from our brain throughout the body to our organs: the vagus nerve. You’ll learn how the different ‘branches’ of the vagus nerve operate and understand how to influence its ‘tone’ using practices like mantra, singing, and deep breathing.
Once we’ve emptied our ‘stress containers’ it’s important to do regular practices to keep them empty. This is one such practice. It explores the connection between breath and the vagus nerve in order to down-regulate our system, reduce our stress levels, keep our system grounded and prevent the activation of the sympathetic nervous system. We’ll also look at the connection between the diaphragm and psoas muscle. The class includes breathwork, movement and psoas release. Please have a block ready.
This lecture expands on social engagement theory, and explains how co-regulation plays a key part in our evolution. It also considers the myriad ways in which having a healthy nervous system has a profound effect on our lives - and the lives of those around us. Those events and experiences that we’ve processed no longer have the power to hold us back. Instead, they can act as tools for learning, growth and, ultimately, transformation.
In this class, we’ll practice connecting to a deeper sense of self through guided meditation, mantra, breathing practices and Yoga Nidra. When we start to empty the container and release stored up stress and trauma we create the circumstances to let down our defence shields and connect to a deeper part of ourselves - our intuition. Allowing ourselves to feel into - and act from - this place, takes these practices far beyond the release of stress, tension and trauma - and enables us to forge a greater, more meaningful connection with ourselves and the world around us.
Releasing trauma and stress, with Sandra Carson is eligible for 5 Continuing Education Credits with yoga Alliance.
Sandra is a Certified Anusara® teacher, an E-RYT 500, YACEP (Yoga Alliance), a TRE® provider and Keto coach. She teaches workshops, trainings and retreats in The Netherlands and internationally.
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