Emma Turnbull, studio owner and yoga teacher and trainer at Yoga Wise attended a trauma sensitive workshop for yoga instructors with me in Essex, January 2019
‘Eve is a wonderful yoga teacher, kind, compassionate and knowledgeable in her subject. I thoroughly enjoyed her trauma sensitive workshop and took a lot from it. With 365 Ways to Feel Better, Eve has provided exactly what we need – 365 ways to feel good every day! I have bought and recommended this to friends and students – it has something for everybody!’
For several thousand years, people have been practicing yoga and meditation. Modern neuroscience is now able to measure what people in India and elsewhere knew all along.
I’ve been practicing yoga and attending classes since 2001. I’ve been teaching for years (since 2013) and am always conscious of how much I don’t know. While I’ve studied, trained and practiced a lot and intend to continue to learn and practice yoga for the rest of my life (I can’t imagine starting the day without my yoga and meditation even if it’s a short practice), I still have so much left to learn.
Still, I love sharing ways in which we can use these ancient practices to not only help ourselves feel better in the moment but to create lasting improvements. With practice, we can rewire the brain and retrain the nervous system.
There is so much jargon around yoga – I don’t want to add to it but in case this is helpful information, the yoga I share comes from the Hatha Yoga tradition (although technically, any physical practice could be described as Hatha).
As well as teaching and including yoga and meditation (mostly mindfulness) in some of my workshops and events (most memorably teaching 120 people some basic breath practices and a little chair yoga at a BACP event), I do a lot of work with individuals who like the idea of mindfulness and body work they can do themselves (as well as other benefits including better concentration, strength, stamina, fitness and flexibility).
I work with individual clients and facilitating workshops and I’ve been teaching yoga classes (mostly for beginners, of all ages from late teens to 80s) since 2013.
The emphasis of my classes is mindfulness and self-care. Using the body to help people learn to calm down, relax, ease anxiety and stress, prepare for sleep and energise and lift their moods.
It’s bodywork we can do for ourselves.
As your self-care coach, yoga therapist or yoga teacher, I’ll:
* listen not just to your words but support you in noticing your breath and posture to get a better understanding of what will help you most
* teach you practical tools including asana (physical hatha yoga practice), pranayama (breath work), meditation and relaxation to help you use your body and breath to retrain your brain and nervous system
* support you in integrating these new practices into your life so they become an enjoyable part of your routine and
* help you understand how to motivate yourself.
I have been interested in the therapeutic effects of yoga since using it to help myself with a chronic pain condition in 2001. While pictures of yogis doing seemingly impossible things with their bodies can feel off putting, ultimately, yoga is a lovely and effective way to become friendlier with your own body and mind. As well as welcoming anyone who wants to learn more about the mind, body, heart and soul benefits of yoga and people wanting to maximise their potential and boost their wellbeing, I specialise in supporting people who are struggling with sleep issues, stress, anxiety, burn out / depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Yoga therapy for mental health, wellbeing and sleep individual sessions, classes, workshops and courses can have both short term and long lasting benefits. They can help you learn how to use your body and breath to experience almost instant relief while ongoing practice can encourage neuroplasticity, retrain your brain and autonomic nervous system. They’re an effective style of body work (using asanas from the hatha yoga tradition) where you’re working with your own body rather than having anything done to you. You can continue to benefit by building consolidating your practice between sessions / classes. Often, when we try to think ourselves calm, we can’t do it. Instead of feeling better, we may even end up beating ourselves up about feeling stressed, anxious, traumatised, unable to sleep or depressed.
Because 80% of the messages between body and brain go from body to brain, we can use mindfulness of breath and movement to improve the way we feel and potentially retrain our brains and nervous systems. The neuroscientist Dr Chris Streeter discovered that just one hour of yoga increased GABA – this is the brain’s major inhibitory neurotransmitter that was mimicked in drugs like Xanax. Streeter’s discovery can motivate us to get onto our mats when we want to ease stress and anxiety naturally.
But just as you wouldn’t take medication or even a multivitamin just once, I will support you in building a personalised daily yoga practice which will help you manage life’s current and future challenges more easily. In my sessions and classes, you’ll learn things about yourself on your yoga mat that you may have done unconsciously for years in your everyday life. And as you build strength, flexibility and resilience on your yoga mat, life’s ups and downs will feel much easier to manage.
Trauma sensitive yoga
Trauma sensitive yoga is a type of therapeutic bodywork which involves you using your own body to heal. You’ll learn practical tools (from psycho-education about what happens physiologically with trauma to yoga asanas (poses), breathwork and even relaxation) that can bring immediate relief and, with practice, retrain the brain (downgrading the amygdala response to perceived threats) and nervous system.
Powerful and effective but gentle and always at your pace, trauma sensitive yoga offers a way, as David Emerson (pioneer in this field) says, to become friendlier with your own body (not always easy when we feel betrayed by our own bodies but healing is possible). By supporting you in creating self-care practices that feel good for you, you’ll learn to better support yourself. You will be more likely to remember what to do if triggered. Whether you’re looking for trauma sensitive yoga, a yoga coach, relaxing yoga nidra, mindful yoga, a yoga teacher, yoga therapist, yoga instructor, meditation coach or mindfulness coach, I look forward to supporting you in helping yourself – mind, body, heart and soul.
Tel: +353 (0)87 262 9084 / +44 (0)7584 354963 / +353 98 63645
firstname.lastname@example.org Online and outdoor self care coaching, therapy, yoga, supervision and more. Westport, Co Mayo, Republic of Ireland and Colchester, Essex, UK. (c) Eve Menezes Cunningham 2004-2019. All rights reserved.