Yoga Therapy - Somatic Experiencing - Mindfulness

Supporting Embodied Resilience and Trauma Healing

YYoga Workshop Announcement: Manifest a Mindful New Year

Rather than focusing on setting resolutions or goals for specific outcomes, this year what if you committed to practicing mindful self-compassion? What would change in your life if you practiced accepting yourself with loving kindness? On January 6th at YYoga Downtown Flow in Vancouver, I’ll guide you through a mindful yoga practice, reflective writing, and meditations. You’ll come away with a practice to support you in feeling more connected to yourself and others and more mindful in your relationship with yourself. I truly believe that mindful self-compassion is balm for the soul. I hope you’ll join me!

Save Your Spot!!

 

YYoga Workshop Announcement: Movement and Meditation – Practical Tools for Stress Management

I’m excited to be offering this embodied mental health workshop at YYoga leading up to the holiday season!

In this workshop, you’ll learn about your nervous system and how it’s impacted by stress. We will explore a number of breath and body-based self-regulation practices to support you in finding the right practices for you! You’ll come away with a toolkit of practices you can use in your daily life to help you find your inner calm and manage symptoms of stress, anxiety, trauma, and depression.

I hope to see you there!

SAVE YOUR SPOT!! 

 

New Office

ANNOUNCEMENT:

On September 1st, 2018, I am moving to a new office space in downtown Vancouver that is large, completely private, and very accessible by public transit and has parking lots nearby.

The address is Suite 501-470 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC, V6C 1V4.

My office hours for the Fall will be Tuesdays 12:30pm-7:30 pm and Thursdays 4:30 pm-8:00 pm.

I look forward to working with you! If you have any questions, please contact me at shivaniwells@me.com

 

Somatic Experiencing

I am excited to announce that I am now integrating Somatic Experiencing® (SE™) into my sessions. I have completed the first module (24 hours of training) and will continue to integrate SE™ into my work throughout the three-year training process of becoming a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner.

The SE™ method is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. It is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine, resulting from his multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, together with over 45 years of successful clinical application. The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma.

SE™ offers a framework to assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states. It provides effective skills appropriate to a variety of healing professions including mental health, medicine, physical and occupational therapies, bodywork, addiction treatment, first response, education, and others.

The SE™ approach facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. This is approached by gently guiding clients to develop increasing tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions.

To learn more about SE visit www.https://traumahealing.org

Embodied Mindfulness for Stress Relief

Did you know your brain has a distinct neural network for meditation? 
In this talk, I break down the neuroscience of two mindstates, one for everyday thinking and one for mindfulness. Learning to identify these two mindstates will significantly improve your mindfulness practice and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. I then lead you through four practices to help you alleviate stress and anxiety. (The practices start at 11:57)

This talk was presented at the Tumour Foundation Conference on February 24th, 2018.

 

 

Manifest a Mindful 2018

New Years Intention Setting Workshop

Integrate the lessons from 2017, identify where you’re stuck, get clear on how you want to feel, and learn simple embodied mindfulness techniques to manifest how you want to feel in 2018. 

SAVE YOUR SPOT!

Set Intentions, Not Resolutions: The Art of Manifestation


What Intention Setting is Really About: Manifesting a Mindful New Year

Join Shivani on New Years Day, January 1st from 2-4pm at YYoga in Downtown Vancouver for the “Manifest a Mindful New Year” workshop! It sold out last year, so sign up early!

The paradox of letting go

I remember feeling confused about the concept of intention. It was almost 10 years ago, and I was training to become a yoga therapist. My intention was to support individuals on their journey to holistic wellness, but I was being told by my teachers to “let go of outcome”. How could I hold the intention to help my clients heal (or have any intentions at all for that matter) and simultaneously not care about the outcome? It felt like a paradox.

I reached out to Elissa Cobb, one of my yoga therapy teachers, for guidance. She told me, “As soon as I focus on controlling the outcome, my intention ceases to exist…I have to let go in order to receive what I want.” Her perspective felt radical at the time, and it sparked a new understanding for me about the nature of intention that continues to inspire my work with clients today.

At the time, my confusion had sprung from a false association between “letting go” and not caring, when in fact the opposite is true. Letting go of outcome doesn’t mean you don’t care about your goals or your vision, it means that you are freeing yourself to be fully present in the moment so that you can actually manifest what you want. Manifestation isn’t magic. It happens incrementally through the moment-to-moment, day-to-day choices we make. Where your attention goes, energy flows.

Why trying to control the outcome doesn’t work

Here’s why intentions focused on a specific future outcome are often unsuccessful:

1) As much as we try, (99.99% of the time) we are not in control of how things turn out in the end. All we are in control of if how we show up in the moment.

2) When we try to control the outcome and only look to how we want things to be different in the future, we lose sight of how we are showing up in the moment, and we are at a greater risk for experiencing stress and anxiety.

Anxiety is a future-oriented mood state characterized by worry, and stress often comes from feeling overwhelmed by looking ahead to everything that has to get done. As Seneca the Elder said, “we often suffer more from imagination than from reality.” Michael Lee, the founder of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, taught me that intention is about how we BE. And how we BE informs what we DO.

“We often suffer more from imagination than from reality.” – Seneca the Elder

The big takeaway

Intention is the PRACTICE of FEELING what you want, and the more you practice it, the more you manifest it! Intentions are manifested through the practice of Embodied Mindfulness. Rather than saying you want a certain thing to happen, ask yourself how it would FEEL if that outcome was already a reality (yup, right now!).

For example, let’s say you want to accept yourself more this year. What does acceptance FEEL like in your body? Is it light, open, soft, warm, connected? Your body is constantly sending signals to your brain for interpretation. A study found that people felt happier when they held a pencil between their teeth rather than between their lips – a fake smile tricked the brain into feeling happier!

So think of your intention as the mindful practice of “faking it till you make it”. Just like when you first started practicing yoga (or any other activity that requires technique), many of the poses probably felt awkward and uncomfortable, but as you continued to practice, those poses started to feel more natural and even pleasant. If you want to master anything, you have to practice.

The question is, what kind of experience do you want to manifest? Once you identify one to three words that describe how you want to feel (such as “Open”, “Connected”), let those words be your guide, like a mantra, and start practicing. Feel the energy of those words in your body. Breathe them into all the cells of your being. Let them fill you up. And watch what happens!

Manifestation isn’t magic. It happens incrementally through the moment-to-moment, day-to-day choices we make. Where your attention goes, energy flows.

What about roadblocks?

It’s important to acknowledge that we are (unconsciously) practicing how to be all the time. For example, we practice worrying, complaining, doubting, feeling tense, or not having time for self-care. These unconscious practices often stem from limiting core beliefs that were established in childhood and can be so deeply ingrained that you might not even be aware of them.

Uprooting limiting core beliefs can take some time and working with a therapist can support this process; in fact, this is a big part of the work I do with my yoga therapy clients. It’s, of course, true that we are impacted by our environment and situations, but I have found that clients feel empowered knowing that although they aren’t in control of the final outcome, they can work on shifting their embodied experience in the moment.

Start by asking yourself what limiting core beliefs might be keeping you stuck, and then notice how that belief feels in your body. Is it tight? Is it heavy? Is it dark? Where in your body do you feel it? Then practice feeling the OPPOSITE. Come back to your mantra – your 1-3 words that describe how you want to feel. Each time you notice limiting core beliefs getting triggered, let your body’s response (such as tension in your shoulders) be a cue to engage your mindful practice, and little by little, over time, you begin to manifest a more mindful embodied experience, and as a result a more mindful year.

Join Shivani on New Years Day, January 1st from 2-4pm at YYoga in Downtown Vancouver for the “Manifest a Mindful New Year” workshop! It sold out last year, so sign up early!

Embodied Mindfulness on the Kent Brun Podcast

LISTEN

Embodied Mindfulness ~ A guided practice and discussion with Kent Brun