“With Trauma-informed yoga therapy, we can tap into how our stresses are stored in the body, and find healing and relaxation,” Kelly Kreutz asserts. Kelly, a yoga instructor and an LICSW, will be teaching morning yoga and mindfulness classes at CRI’s Beyond Paper Tigers (BPT) conference later this month. Her interest in yoga developed alongside her work as a counselor specializing in trauma, grief, and anxiety. As she witnessed the benefits of yoga in her own life, she felt inspired to blend these two passions.
“There’s such a huge aspect of [stress] that doesn’t get fully addressed with just talking. But when I am quieting my mind and grounding, I am feeling the sensations in my body, how they are reactions to stress,” Kelly explains about her practice. “People often struggle to truly relax.”
Thus Kelly wishes to give her students a template for relaxation, to know what it feels like, to ultimately return us to our breath and bodies. She has based her practice on neuroplasticity research, having been inspired by Vincent Feletti 20 years ago.
“We know that the brain can be compromised in people experiencing trauma. Practicing these methods can create new pathways in the brain, teach self-calming and self-regulation skills, so that those skills can be reinforced naturally and ultimately reoccur,” Kelly states. For those of us who work with children and wish to teach the same skills, Kelly assures that our own self-work can translate to those around us. “Kids’ minds are set up for mirroring. If they see their teacher calm, they may emulate what they see.”
Kelly’s class at the BPT conference will seek to teach relaxation, for our own benefits in personal practice, and also to model for those whom we serve. Her goal is that, “when people are talking about topics, [she] wants them to feel it for themselves so that they can experience it.” Her yoga therapy is a blend of research and method, a resource, and a practice of returning to the body.