My own journey with yoga began when I was 23. I had read about yoga as a teenager in a dusty old book I came across in my parents’ attic, but it wasn’t until I experienced trauma in the form of sexual assault by an armed stranger that I really began to explore the mind-body benefits of the practice as a way to heal the sense of disconnection that arose with post traumatic stress.
Yoga became medicine that enabled me to recover from a sense of mistrust – of my own strength, of other people and of the suddenly unsafe world around.
My own experiences of living in a traumatized body inform my teaching and I have been conducting yoga classes with a therapeutic focus since 2003. I have taught yoga in many different settings, but the majority of clients I have worked with have been impacted by trauma and/or addiction. Locations include Vancouver Coastal Health Mental Health Teams, the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective, Pacifica Treatment Centre, the BC College of Psychologists, New Dawn recovery home for women, Onsite, YWCA’s Munroe House (Canada’s first second-stage transition house), Spirit Way (second-stage housing for Aboriginal women) and a women’s correctional facility.
I am the Coordinator at the Vancouver-based non-profit organization, Yoga Outreach, where I facilitate over 20 yoga programs in a wide variety of venues with clients living with mental health and addiction issues and the impacts of trauma as well as develop and deliver trainings in trauma sensitive yoga. In 2010 I completed a Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher Training at the Trauma Center, Boston, MA. I am certified as a Professional Yoga Therapist with Integrative Yoga Therapy.
I teach therapeutic yoga because I have received so much through my own practice and because I hear from clients about the many benefits they receive from yoga too. My vision is one in which everyone who has felt the devastation of trauma or the destruction of addiction has the opportunity to experience the increased sense of safety, peace and wholeness that a mindful, trauma-informed yoga practice can bring.
What is Trauma Sensitive Yoga? Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) is an evidence-based treatment protocol for complex trauma and treatment-resistant PTSD developed by leading researchers in the fields of trauma & psychology. TCTSY is the first somatic modality to be scientifically proven as an effective adjunctive treatment for psychological trauma. It engages the neural networks in the brain that are damaged by trauma. This small all-women’s yoga group is designed specifically to cultivate safety & heal trauma held in the mind & body. It is open to anyone who self-identifies as female and as having experienced trauma. You do not need to have an official PTSD diagnosis in order to participate, neither do you need to have prior yoga experience.
Contact Sarah to schedule your complimentary phone information session.
“As a mom who used to be a professional, I struggle to find any kind of balance in this new perpetual wave-machine version of life. While I was an occasional yoga person before, never had I experienced the calm and peace offered by a session with Sarah. She got to know me and my situation first, and then designed a practice that centered me, both mind and body…Throughout she created a calm, quiet and un-pressured space that gave me room to feel where my body was wanting more balance, and to sense where my mind/spirit was somewhat off its path. Just getting the space to feel those dislocations was amazing, but even more so was that such clarity could be achieved in 90 minutes. I would say it was breath-taking except that this is yoga. Needless to say, I highly recommend her.” – Kris L