wellness based yoga and mindfulness
Yoga Classes @ DBT of South Jersey
Did you know DBT of South Jersey has it’s own private yoga studio? Our beautiful space was created with the intention of creating an environment that feels peaceful and safe. Our classes adhere to trauma informed guidelines, and are primarily taught by therapists. Check out our weekly offerings and sign up for class here, or by downloading the ScheduleBliss app.
Why Yoga in a Counseling Center?
“The issues are in our tissues”-Nikki Myers
More and more research is showing the positive impact of a yoga and mindfulness practice on recovery from depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This makes yoga an excellent holistic option and often missing piece for those working on healing the mind-body. Many therapy modalities are top-down approaches, meaning they address mainly the cognitive piece (targeting the mind) in healing, but missing the remainder of the person. We have often heard clients in recovering from PTSD say, “I know it isn’t real now, but it still feels that way”-this is where therapy can sometimes fail clients and yoga comes in as a necessary resource for whole healing.
Trauma, depression, addiction and many other struggles can put a deep strain on the relationship between a person and their own body. Some begin to resent or even hate the very body they are living in, making it feel impossible to recover from the symptoms that are keeping them in that dark place. For many, this dark cycle leads to hopelessness that can feel unending. The definition of yoga in simple terms means union, with a goal being to unite the self from a place of compassion and understanding. This is why yoga at our practice can help.
Research has also shown that part of how we feel emotionally is triggered by our facial expressions and body postures. Our bodies communicate how we are feeling to our brain, so by changing our body, we can influence our emotional state. For example, feeling calm while your body is tensed is unlikely. Therefore, letting go of tension is an opposite action practice that will allow anxiety to decrease while feelings of calm or peace begin to surface. Yoga can be a wonderful first step to those experiencing difficulty with developing a meditation practice, as yoga is a moving mindfulness practice. Though it is not all sitting in silence, yoga can help develop the same “mindfulness muscle” in our brains.
What Is Trauma Informed Yoga?
Though yoga can be healing for many, there are some situations in which yoga can feel unsafe for someone in recovery, particularly for someone experiencing symptoms of PTSD. Unfortunately, this has created a paradox in which those who would benefit most from yoga have difficulty accessing the practice. For this reason, our regularly scheduled teachers adhere to the following trauma informed guidelines:
· Hands-Off Practicing; Our regularly scheduled classes will not include hands on assisting, which means no physical touching of students from teachers. We will use verbal cuing for assists when necessary. Students may have the option to opt-in for assists when offered.
· Gentle Sequencing; Our regularly scheduled classes will involve slower movements to increase a sense of mindfulness to the present moment.
· Teacher Visibility; Our regularly scheduled classes will have a teacher teaching from their mat, or in a place that is visibly accessible to you from the front or side (generally not behind without mention or notification first).
· Calm Setting; Our studio space uses soft lighting, soft music (if any) and does not have mirrors.
· Mindful Focus; Regularly scheduled classes all have a component of mindfulness practice and attention to breath to help regulate emotions as well as busyness of the mind.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that simply means being awake. Letting go of what has happened, and what may happened, allowing ourselves to be present in only this moment without judgment. Sounds great right? Easier said than done. Our minds have not been trained to think in this way. In fact, if we had a remote control for our mind that allowed us to turn down the volume from time to time, it’s likely many would sign right up! The bad news is-that doesn’t exist. The good news? Mindfulness is the closest thing to it.
Mindfulness is linked to decreased depression, anxiety, stress and increased well-being, feelings of contentment and other positive emotions, improved relationships and overall health. There is a wealth of information on the benefits of having a regular mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is not about emptying our mind of thoughts; it’s about changing the relationship we have with our thoughts, as well as our emotions. Learning to “play nice” with them, so to speak. Mindfulness is an essential part of DBT, and anyone receiving therapy from a DBT of South Jersey clinician will learn about mindfulness. All of our clinicians believe in mindfulness and have a personal practice of their own.
Please contact us for additional mindfulness services, such as group or corporate sessions.