Tag Archives: yoga

Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) training with David Emerson

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David Emerson and Bernadette Carelse at the TCTSY training in Berlin 17 to 20 April 2018.

This month I was in Berlin for the first time, attending the 40-hour training in Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) training with David Emerson.

TCTSY is an evidence based treatment exactly for complex trauma and complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.  It was developed by David Emerson himself, at the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, since 2003 and has become part of the therapies available at the Justice Resource Institute since 2006.

TCTSY is used with children, young people and adults throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Colombia, Mexico, Israel, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.  I am keen to develop how it is used in the UK, particularly for children and young people.  As a result, following my training in London in TCTSY , I decided to go all the way to Berlin, simply because David Emerson would be there delivering the training himself.

The 40-hour training in TCTSY was held in Berlin from 17 to 20 April 2018.  Berlin is an amazing city with a complex history and it some ways this is exactly what made it such a fitting context for the he training.  It was wonderful to be there with other yoga teachers and therapists learning about TCTSY.

I discovered more about how to integrate TCTSY into my yoga and mindfulness teaching I also gained insight into how this could fit into my work as an educational psychologist (EP).  My casework includes children and young people who have had adverse life experiences (ACEs) and are suffering from trauma as a result.

The training explained how TSTCY can be part of therapeutic work to enable to development of interoception, the ability to notice and be aware of internal body sensations which are often neurologically underdeveloped as a result of the process of surviving ACEs.  Furthermore the traumatic experiences can leave children and young people with limited self-efficacy and the TCTSY approach is empowering in itself and helps to address this.

It is my intention to develop my skills in this area as far as possible due to the research evidence for its efficacy.

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Trauma Center Trauma-sensitive Yoga (TCTSY): an empowering, healing and mindful approach to teaching yoga

paperback-book-coverSome of you may have heard of the work of Bessel Van Der Kolk author of “The Body Keeps the Score”.  He explains how children and adults adapt to traumatic experiences and how findings from neuroscience and attachment research can be inform a range of potentially effective treatments for traumatic stress.  Bessel also founded the Trauma Center in Massachusetts, USA where treatments to address complex trauma are developed and tested.

One of the approaches is Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY).  This is an empirically validated, clinical intervention for complex trauma or chronic, treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  The TCTSY program is included in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) database.  TCTSY has foundations in Trauma Theory, Attachment Theory, and Neuroscience as well as on central components of the hatha style of yoga, where participants engage in a series of physical forms and movements.

Last month I participated in a 20-hour training in TCTSY run by Alexandra Cat  who is based at the Yoga Clinic, UK.  In this course, I learned how to teach yoga in a way to cultivate a sense of empowerment and a more positive relationship to one’s body, using the TCTSY approach:

  • TCTSY does not use physical hands-on adjustments to influence a participant’s physical form.  Instead, the approach invites participants to be in charge of themselves based on a felt sense of their own body; the participant is empowered.
  • TCTSY enables a focus on the internal experience of a posture, not the external expression or appearance.  There is no ‘right’ way to do a posture, based on external approval or judgment; the participant is empowered to make his or her own choices.

By focusing on the felt sense of the body to inform choice-making, TCTSY allows participants to restore their connection of mind and body and cultivate a sense of agency that is often compromised as a result of trauma.

This training has informed the teaching of yoga that I do and I have started using in it the classes that I teach.  For more information, feel free to contact me.

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Mindfulness in London – Opportunities to enhance well-being and develop skills to become more resilient to stress

Dr CarelseHappy New Year! Welcome to 2015 and the invitation to have a fresh start and focus on making life more meaningful to us as individuals, cherishing the time left in our lives.  Mindfulness is a way to take stock of and simple ‘be’ with where we are right here and now, moment by moment.   Research shows that it can enhance health, well-being and resilience to stress. In addition, it can help us become more aligned with longer term goals and aspirations. Here are some opportunities to learn more about Mindfulness and Yoga in London.

On Monday 12 January, there is a Mindful Evening in Walthamstow – aka the Walthamstow Mindfulness Meet Up.  It is an opportunity for people to meet up and practice mindfulness together.  This is for anyone interested, from complete beginners to those who would like a bit of a refresher or boost to their own practice.

The British Wheel of Yoga has the largest yoga membership in the UK.  It is committed to promoting a greater understanding of yoga and its safe practice through experience, study and training.

Dr Carelse is a qualified British Wheel of Yoga teacher.

On 14 January, the “Yoga with Mindfulness” classes begin at the Corporation of London Community Education Centre.  This week, and next the centre will be taking bookings.  The classes will be run from 6pm to 7:30pm.

The following week, on 19th January, the next Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Course will be starting.  There has been a really positive response and there are only a few places left.

Overall the interest in mindfulness has been increasing, including in schools.  On 20th January, I will be running a 3-hour mindfulness session in a primary school to about 60 members of staff.  This is a shorter, more accessible version of the Introduction to Mindfulness Day Workshop that is part of the series of mindfulness training opprotunities that are available for those in educational settings.

.b Foundations was developed by the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP).

.b Foundations was developed by the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP).

On 26th January I will be presenting on mindfulness at a staff meeting in a secondary school, introducing further training that will be available at the school the following month.

Overall, 2015 is another year of opportunities to share this valuable practice with you and others.  By regularly practicing, we can support ourselves to sustain a level of equanimity through the inevitable changes that life brings.

For more information, including about training in mindfulness for schools, contact me.

Warm wishes, Bernadette

Teaching Yoga in Prisons: 4 days of training for yoga teachers by the Prison Phoenix Trust and British Wheel of Yoga

The Prison Phoenix Trust is a charity that encourages prisoners in their spiritual lives through meditation and yoga, working with silence and the breath.

The Prison Phoenix Trust is a charity that encourages prisoners in their spiritual lives through meditation and yoga, working with silence and the breath.

From Monday 23 June to Friday 27 June, I trained to teach yoga in prisons, though a programme taught by the Prison Phoenix trust (PPT) and accredited by the British Wheel of yoga (BWY).  I’ve been teaching yoga since 1998, and qualified as a yoga teacher in 2001.  This intensive training enabled us to learn how to teach yoga, breathing practices and meditation in a way that was accessible to a range of participants and adapted to meet their needs, safely and effectively.

Brent Scott (left) and Sally Buxton (centre) are both Yoga Co-ordinators for the PPT. Sam Settle (right) is the PPT Director. They co-led the training programme.

Since 2001, I have taught yoga and meditation in a range of settings, including private yoga centres, individual homes, adult education settings and schools.  The participants have been from a range of ages, from 7 to 81 years, backgrounds and levels of ability from complete beginner to advanced.  Yet this training prepared me for something different and altogether unique: to teach yoga and meditation in settings where the individuals there had acted in ways that meant not being allowed to participate in general society for a period of time.

The 4 day training programme was wonderfully practical, informative and fun.  There were speakers from prisons, including Prison Officers, ex-inmates and yoga and other teachers working in prisons, youth offending institutions, prison hospitals and other high security settings.  There were talks, meditation and yoga sessions and discussion groups.  We even had a bit of time to fit in a few walks in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside and have an evening of games, singing and music provided by ourselves.

We not only deepened our personal practice, though morning and evening practice sessions, but also our understanding of the complexities of the lives of those living and working in prisons.  Overall, I gained confidence not only in how to adapt the teaching of yoga and meditation, but also in how to adapt myself to a setting in which security is of paramount importance.  It was a brilliantly run and intense training course and I highly recommend it to any yoga teachers interested in such work.

Practice mindfulness with the Mindfulness Interest Group at the Hackney Learning Trust

Hackney Learning Trust runs all the education services for the London Borough of Hackney. It is responsible for schools, children’s centres, early years and adult education.

Hackney Learning Trust runs all the education services for the London Borough of Hackney.
It is responsible for schools, children’s centres, early years and adult education.

On Thursday, 1st May, was the second meet-up of the Mindfulness Interest Group.  It is a supportive and friendly group for those interested in mindfulness who are working for Hackney Council.  The aim of the group is to meet up monthly, at the Hackney Learning Trust, to share about mindfulness-related events and projects in the borough and to do some mindfulness practice together.

Most of the group are completely new to practising mindfulness.. and the advantage is that this encourages coming to mindfulness with a “beginner’s mind”, a combination of openness, curiosity and healthy scepticism.  To learn mindfulness, effort is needed.  Although the practice itself is simple, it takes effort and self-encouragement to persevere with it.  The Mindfulness Interest Group provides an opportunity to take a “breathing space” and practice tools needed to enhance well-being and resilience and reduce the effects of stress in the workplace.

 

New term of yoga classes in the city

The British Wheel of Yoga is the largest yoga membership organisation in the UK. We are committed to promoting a greater understanding of yoga and its safe practice through experience, education, study and training.

The British Wheel of Yoga is the largest yoga membership organisation in the UK. It is committed to promoting a greater understanding of yoga and its safe practice through experience, education, study and training.

On Wednesday, 30 April, the new term began for the beginner and intermediate yoga classes that I run at the City of London Community Education Centre.  I have been teaching in this context since September 2000.  Over the last 5 years, these courses have been managed by Hackney Community College.  If you would like to enhance your health and well-being and live or work close to or in the city, there are still a few places in the classes and you are welcome to join.  if you are interested, call 020 7332 3918 or 020 7608 2753 or email adulteducation@cityoflondon.gov.uk.

These classes are a fantastic opportunity to learn about yoga with an emphasis on bringing mindfulness to the practice to develop awareness, balance, flexibility and strength.  As a British Wheel of Yoga qualified teacher, I have experience and training in adapting the yoga practices to suit a broad range of age and ability.

Yoga for beginners

Since 1999, Dr Bernadette Carelse has been teaching yoga for the City of London Community Education Centre.

Since 1999, Dr Bernadette Carelse has been teaching yoga for the City of London Community Education Centre.

This term, I have been running two Yoga classes, one for Beginners and the other, Improvers.  It has been a real joy and reward to have these classes, as it gives an opportunity to focus on adapting the practices in more detail to meet the needs of those attending.  There will be a chance to enrol on the Summer class towards the end of the month. If you have little or no experience of yoga or have had some health concerns and need a gentle and supportive way to get back strength and mobility and would like more information about the Beginner’s class, please get in touch.  Warmly, Bernadette