Is Yin Yoga Trauma Sensitive? With Nicole Marcia

posted in: Yin Yoga Podcast 1

Is Yin Yoga Trauma Sensitive?

This is a nuanced and complex conversation. I hope this conversation will give some clarity on what trauma-sensitive Yoga is, and what it’s not.

And the difference between trauma-sensitive Yoga and trauma-informed Yoga is.

This episode will help teachers learn how to make their Yin classes more trauma-informed and have a better understanding of how trauma shows up in Yoga classes.

When I started my Yoga therapy training (and met today’s guest) I initially had a little crisis of faith when I started realizing that according to the Trauma Center definition, Yin Yoga wasn’t trauma-sensitive ūüė≥.

I was feeling torn between my LOVE of Yin Yoga and my new path as a Yoga Therapist. Eventually, I managed to find a way to make my Yin Yoga classes Trauma-Informed and my guest Nicole Marcia was largely responsible for me being able to make that transition.

If you are a Yoga teacher you are teaching people with trauma whether you know it or not. I hope this episode will help you navigate how to make your classes more trauma-informed and If you are looking for more training on this topic I highly recommend workshops and courses with Nicole Marcia.

Nicole Marcia:

Nicole Marcia, MA, MC, C-IAYT (she/her) is an Ashkenazi Jew of mixed European descent. In 2009, she was awarded a master’s degree with a specialization in yoga therapy from Lesley University in Boston, MA. For 9 years, she served as the Director of Therapeutic Yoga Programming for the Provincial Health Services Authority at their Burnaby Centre for Mental Health & Addictions and Riverview Psychiatric Hospital. From 2007-2018, she worked as a yoga therapist at Onsite, the treatment arm of North America’s first safe injection site in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. She also served as the Director of Teacher Training and Mentorship with Yoga Outreach from 2007 Р2023.

In addition to training yoga and healthcare professionals internationally,  Nicole has facilitated therapeutic classes for women fleeing situations of human trafficking and worked extensively with teens living with mental health challenges. She is a member of the Breathe Network which connects survivors of sexual violence with healing arts practitioners and has received her BCPFFA Silver Seal of Endorsement for completing Levels 1 & 2 of the BC Professional Fire Fighters Associations Occupational Awareness for Treating First Responder Trauma.

Nicole recently completed her Masters in Counselling through City University of Seattle and is seeing clients in her private practice where she combines Yoga therapy and talk therapy.

Nicole’s Website

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Hi Yenice, and welcome back to a yen yoga, podcast

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Nyk Danu Yoga: we haven’t met before yet. I’m your host, Nick Daniel. I am a

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Nyk Danu Yoga: yoga therapist, yin, yoga teacher, trainer and a Yoga business mentor.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So if you’re new around here, welcome for those of you that are. Return listeners. Welcome back.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I have a guest interview today. so I’ll read their bio in just a moment. But before I do

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Nyk Danu Yoga: just a quick reminder that if you are a Yoga teacher, and you are looking to expand on your Yoga teaching knowledge whether you’ve already taken a training or you haven’t taken a training.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I have a 60 plus hour at the time of this recording, it could get longer in future.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Yin, Yoga teacher training. It’s therapeutic.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: It’s nervous system based with a big focus on accessibility, and it’s steeped in traditional Chinese medicine.

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So if you want more information about that, you can just check the show notes

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Nyk Danu Yoga: on any of the places that you’re watching or listening to this, there’ll be a link to get on the wait list or my training. So if you want to get on the wait list. You just go all the way down. Click the link, and it’s either at the top of the page or the bottom of the page, you’ll see a place where you can enter your name and email.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And I also have public zoom classes. I have at the time of this recording a couple of Yenyoga classes a week on zoom. Those run in registered semesters, seasonal themed semesters, and so if you’d like to join me for those, there’s also a link for that

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Nyk Danu Yoga: in the episode or show notes. And then the last thing I’ll mention is that I have an On demand video library for those of you that are yin enthusiasts. It’s not exclusively yin, but there’s a lot of yin in there.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: How that works. Is it? Sort of like Netflix? It’s you sign up. Pay every month. You can log in and pay and play sort of thing. You can practice with whatever practices strike your fancy.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Lots of yin. There are also some other therapeutic classes. But definitely, it’s it’s yin dominant. And it’s a combination of some professional quality videos that I’ve done. And also former zoom classes, including every workshop that I do, ends up in that video library, and that will also have a link in the show notes. So if you’re interested in working with me more.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: those are some opportunities to do so. So

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Nyk Danu Yoga: let’s get into today’s guest.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So today I’m interviewing Nicole, Marcia and Nicole and I met when she was, and I believe she still is, teaching the trauma module at the Yoga Therapy College that I took my yoga therapy training through.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and I was always just impressed with Nicole as a person, but also the wealth of information that I learned in what was quite a small training. Actually it was only a 20 h module, but it completely changed the way that I teach.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I think for the better. So we’ll get into more about the subject of trauma. Yoga trauma. Sensitive, yoga trauma informed yoga, etc., etc. Once Nicole gets here.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: But before that I’ll just read her introduction here.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay, Nicole, Marcia MA. Mc. And certified International Association of Yoga Therapist Yoga therapist.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: She, her is an Ashkenazi Jew of mixed European descent in 2,009. She was awarded a Master’s degree with a specialization in Yoga therapy from Lesley University in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: For 9 years she served as the Director of Therapeutic Yoga Programming for the Provincial Health Services Authority at their Burnaby Center for Mental health and Addiction

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and Riverview Psychiatric Hospital from 2,007 to 2,018. She worked as a Yoga therapist at Onsite. the treatment arm of North America’s first safe injection site on Vancouver.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Vancouver’s downtown East Side.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: She’s also served as the director of teacher training and mentorship, with Yoga outreach

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Nyk Danu Yoga: from 2,007 to 2023.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: In addition to training Yoga and healthcare professionals. Internationally, Nicole has facilitated therapeutic Yoga classes for women, fleeing situations of human trafficking

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and work extensively with teens living with mental health challenges.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: She’s a member of the breed network which connects survivors of sexual violence with healing arts practitioners.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and has received her BCPF. A. Silver seal of endorsement for completing level one and 2 of the BC. Professional Firefighters Association. Occupational awareness

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Nyk Danu Yoga: for treating first responders in trauma.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Nicole recently completed her master’s in counseling through City University

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Nyk Danu Yoga: of Seattle, and has seen clients in her private practice where she combines Yoga therapy and talk therapy.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So I want to just mention, there will definitely be some content warnings for today’s episode.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: As always, this is an adult podcast with adult subject matter and adult language. So if you have small people around

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Nyk Danu Yoga: headphones.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Also, if you’re currently experiencing or working with your way through things like addiction.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: mental health. trauma. sexual abuse, sexual assault. you can guess by Nicole’s bio that these things are probably going to come up when she starts discussing her work and her journey, so just content warning there for those of you who need to maybe skip this one.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay, in a moment we’ll be joined by Nicole

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Nyk Danu Yoga: kind of Cool Welcome to a Yan Yoga. Podcast

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): Hi, Nick, it’s so good to be here. Thank you for asking me to come in. Oh, of course, as soon as I knew that, I wanted to do an episode

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Nyk Danu Yoga: on this subject right away. It was like, it’s gotta be in a call that I talked to really honored

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Nyk Danu Yoga: before we dive into the subject matter. Maybe just very briefly introduce kind of yourself, and who you work with and what you’re up to in the world at the moment.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): So my name is Nicole, and my pronouns are she and hers, and I work in Vancouver the unseeded territories of the musquium squamish and slay with tooth first nations, people

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and the work that I do these days is primarily a private practice. So I work as a clinical counselor and a yoga therapist.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): I also I do that under my own business, which is called find balance counseling and Yoga therapy. I’m also an educator. So I work in a few different Yoga therapy schools in the lower mainland.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): I teach courses like yoga therapy for trauma.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): I teach about the therapeutic relationship I teach in a course called Yoga Psychology in the Mind and I’m also an instructor in Simon Fraser University’s continuing studies, first responder Trauma Prevention.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): Program. So I teach an addictions. Course. There.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): So that’s most of the work that I’m doing these days.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: It’s a bit of a shift from, I think when when I first met you. Seems like it’s more

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I don’t know if you were still working in treatment centers and things when I when we first connected, or if that was already starting to filter out. But

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): yeah, that was a big part of the work that I did was working in treatment centers and psychiatric facilities

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): did a fair amount of work also with first responders, like in a ten-week trauma day treatment program. spent a few years also, you know, working at Onsite, which is the Re. Well, about 10 years working at Onsite, which is the rehab arm of the safe injection site in the downtown East Side, and I also did a fair amount of work with an organization called Deborah’s Gate. Supporting

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): women who are fleeing situations of human trafficking.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): But a lot of that is,

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): previous work. And I’ve transitioned a lot more to focusing on private practice.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): Nice.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Let’s start I guess at the beginning of not the very beginning, like I was born in, but like how you found yoga

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and then I guess kind of we’ll move into how you started teaching. And then where in there did yoga therapy come in and all the trauma training and all of that. So let’s let’s start

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Nyk Danu Yoga: maybe with, like, how did you? How did you even start practising? Yoga? I always think these stories are so interesting.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): Yeah, I was

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): they can be really interesting. It’s true. I well, you know, just to start from the very beginning, when I was in my early twenties, I survived a really violent sexual assault.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): And in the aftermath of that assault became a really heavy drinker and a pretty heavy drug user and smoking a lot of cigarettes and doing that kind of thing.

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And then one day I was.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know, it was several years after that I was sitting on the couch and smoking a cigarette and watching Oprah, Winfrey and Madonna was on Oprah, Winfrey

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): and I

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): thought, Wow, you know, Madonna looks great. I wonder what she’s doing? And she started talking about practicing something called Ashtanga Yoga, which you know I didn’t know anything about.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): But I,

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know, did a little research. And I ended up finding a community of people who were practicing that particular style of Yoga

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): at the old hyperbaric unit at Vancouver General Hospital, which is

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): Condos. Now it’s not around. But there was this group of people, you know, practicing regularly very early in the morning. And I thought, Hey, you know I can do, Yoga, and it’ll be really easy, and somehow it’ll make me look like Madonna.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): And hopefully I won’t have to quit smoking. So obviously some of those things did not come to fruition.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): But I ended up starting to attend these classes, and

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): after several years of a pretty regular practice, started to notice some interesting shifts.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): I started to notice that. You know I was more comfortable in my body, more comfortable in social situations, and as a result, I just was drinking less and and using less. It’s like my anxiety level had really decreased a great deal.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): I started to notice that.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): this experience that I had had previously of really intense kind of mood. Swings started to settle, and as a result I was using less nicotine again, and it wasn’t really what I had started out seeking. You know I wasn’t that concerned at that particular point about what I was doing in my life in terms of substances, but I noticed that these things were shifting, and I was really clear that the yoga had something to do with that

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): and then in 2,007, I completed my very first teacher training.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): It was 150 h. It was before you know, all of this other sort of reg regulation came into place

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): and in 2,000. So III really was enjoying this.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): the teaching, and I became very interested in the intersection between Yoga Asana and social justice.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): who gets access? Who doesn’t? What does it mean to.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know, feel safer and empowered in our bodies and in the world. And ultimately I started to become interested in Yoga therapy. What did that look like, you know? What did it mean? And

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): there were a couple of trainings at that time available.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): and I so was sort of like looking at these and thinking, these are very, very expensive, as they still are, and I wonder if I could get academic credit for them

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): or for a yoga therapy training. And so I did a search, and I ended up finding a a woman who had done a Master’s degree in Yoga therapy studies. I contacted her

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and ended up

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): doing the same program that she had done so I did. Completed a Master’s degree in Yoga therapy studies through Leslie University in a program that’s no longer running. It was called the Independent Study Master’s program. So I completed that in 2,010,

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): and immediately upon completing that degree I was offered a full time job as a Yoga therapist that

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): ultimately had me splitting my time between a place called Riverview Psychiatric Hospital. Here in Port Coquitlam and the Burnaby Center for mental health and addictions.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): And the client population was the same. They were all folks who had been labeled as having concurrent disorders.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): which in this context means that they were living, both with a mental health diagnosis, usually more than one and they were also poly substance users. So these were folks who had experienced a lot of trauma and a lot of marginalization and we’re also incredibly

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): resilient. I also didn’t have any training

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): to work with this population of people like. They weren’t talking about working in concurrent disorders when I was doing my Yoga therapy training.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): so I often say I was kind of faking it, you know, for that first year.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): And then I got called into my boss’s office, you know, about a year into working there, and

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): was understandably a little nervous as someone who felt like they were kind of faking it at work. And she said, Have you ever heard of something called trauma sensitive? Yoga?

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): And I. I lied, and I said, yes.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): and she said, is that something that you’re doing with our clients? And I lied again, and I said, yes, it is. And she said, good, because I think it’s gonna become.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know, an important sort of therapeutic approach. And at that time, you know, she was the manager of the Burnaby Center.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): They were pretty progressive there. This place is now called Redfish. They’ve they’ve changed their name, but

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): They were pretty progressive. They had a lot of different kinds of programs. So you know, they were interested in bringing in

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): sort of cutting edge therapies. And at that time, you know, Yoga therapy was was considered that. So you know, I went back to my office and I went online and I did a search. And I found something called Trauma Center trauma sensitive. Yoga

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): and I had the privilege to be able to attend an initial 40 h training.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Let’s pause for a moment, because I do want to dive deeper into that. But I have a couple of questions great. So

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Nyk Danu Yoga: you started with

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Nyk Danu Yoga: a form of Yoga, that is very physical.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and is also sort of known for being a bit

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Nyk Danu Yoga: hands-on.

00:17:07.040 –> 00:17:19.949
Nyk Danu Yoga: Yeah. So I’m wondering if and did you stick with that style up until your first teacher training? And was your first teacher training

00:17:19.970 –> 00:17:32.830
Nyk Danu Yoga: an a. NA stronger based training? Or was it a half a training, and and also, as a you know, as a survivor yourself. Did you? Did you find that intense, like all the

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): mucking about with the hands and stuff all the mucking about. I like that. That’s perfect. We don’t call it adjustments anymore. It’s mucking about. It’s my official term. Now, I like that.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): My training was in Ashtanga.

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and I

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): taught

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): a variation of Ashtanga as a studio teacher for many years, you know power, Yoga, but I never taught the

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know, primary series in full, or you know.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): and yeah, there were a lot of adjustments, very intimate adjustments.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): Consent was not

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): something that was coming up at that time at least, not in my

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): mind.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): And you know I

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): did that with a lot of my students at the time, I mean not at the Burnaby center, not by the time I had gotten there, but certainly, you know, in the time between when I was teaching at studios, I definitely administered a lot of

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): pretty, intense, very intimate hands on assist without seeking consent, and got into some

00:18:49.070 –> 00:18:56.080
Nicole Marcia (she/her): sticky situations with that for sure, which, looking back on, you know, I understand more fully. But at the time I

00:18:56.450 –> 00:19:03.460
Nicole Marcia (she/her): hindsight is always yeah. Yeah. I didn’t know exactly what was happening, and it just wasn’t a conversation, you know, and

00:19:04.930 –> 00:19:14.129
Nicole Marcia (she/her): between 2,007 to like 2,010. That I was a part of it may have been happening, but II wasn’t privy to it.

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Nicole Marcia (she/her): And there was intensity

00:19:20.260 –> 00:19:22.320
Nicole Marcia (she/her): in that practice for me.

00:19:23.540 –> 00:19:28.330
Nicole Marcia (she/her): but I really appreciated it. Like for me.

00:19:28.910 –> 00:19:42.559
Nicole Marcia (she/her): it wasn’t a triggering experience or a triggering practice. For me it was very liberating and ultimately very different than what I ended up doing

00:19:42.590 –> 00:19:45.839
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and what I believe in and do now. But

00:19:46.010 –> 00:19:49.959
Nicole Marcia (she/her): at that time. It was very healing for me.

00:19:51.260 –> 00:20:15.869
Nyk Danu Yoga: When I took my first teacher training which was in O. 3, we finished in O. 4. It wasn’t an Iongar certification program, because we all know that takes like a century. It was. But all of the teachers other than one on faculty. Were Iungar certified teachers. So it was essentially an Iangar training. And I remember my, and I’ve I’ve heard other people talk about

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I young our teachers as being handsy. But my experience was my primary teacher.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: She taught us to. Now, I’m just going to say before I say this, that I don’t believe in correcting students anymore. But let’s just use the term that we were taught at the time that in order to correct a student, that first we would call out the direction to the whole group.

00:20:40.310 –> 00:20:57.289
Nyk Danu Yoga: and we would do that twice. And then, if the person who was who we were kind of trying to speak to wasn’t picking up on what we were putting down. Then we might use their name. and then, if they still didn’t understand kind of what it was that we were saying, then we would go over and touch.

00:20:57.320 –> 00:20:59.619
Nyk Danu Yoga: So we weren’t asking for permission.

00:21:00.010 –> 00:21:07.330
Nyk Danu Yoga: Cause like you said that was not being discussed in the yogaverse at that time, but

00:21:08.110 –> 00:21:19.010
Nyk Danu Yoga: but I think that my teacher was a bit more measured in her correct verbally, 3 times before you touch, because she had told us that she had been

00:21:20.510 –> 00:21:30.799
Nyk Danu Yoga: in a in a workshop where she was in a wheel, and somebody was holding her her feet, and somebody else was was helping her hold her arms as she was coming up, and she had a flashback.

00:21:30.940 –> 00:21:31.950
Nyk Danu Yoga: And

00:21:32.470 –> 00:21:38.139
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know of something that had happened in her youth, and you know, kind of.

00:21:38.170 –> 00:21:45.820
Nyk Danu Yoga: I don’t know if she was aware of it, even in moderation, before that. But she just had such a traumatic experience, being sort of

00:21:46.190 –> 00:21:57.720
Nyk Danu Yoga: held essentially in that position. I mean none of it being even remotely intimate, just like feet and hands kind of thing. But she had such a reaction to it that I think that might have been why she

00:21:57.860 –> 00:22:06.080
Nyk Danu Yoga: tempered our directions with like correct verbally, and even then we were almost never taught to

00:22:06.310 –> 00:22:21.749
Nyk Danu Yoga: touch people in a way that was trying to deepen the pose air quotes for those of you who can’t see me. It was simple things like putting my hand on your back and saying, Can you bring your back away from my hand like more of a sense of

00:22:22.100 –> 00:22:24.219
Nyk Danu Yoga: helping the kinesthetic learners?

00:22:24.470 –> 00:22:30.279
Nyk Danu Yoga: So then, when I got out into school, that’s essentially what I did. I almost never

00:22:30.470 –> 00:22:47.550
Nyk Danu Yoga: did anything to deepen a pose. It was always like, can I create awareness here. And I was teaching registered semesters. So I did at the beginning. And I don’t know why I did this. Actually, it might have been her story, it might have been her sharing her story that made me think

00:22:47.560 –> 00:22:58.279
Nyk Danu Yoga: maybe I just shouldn’t go touching everybody. And so at the beginning of the semester. I would just say, you know, that occasionally, if my words aren’t landing, I may offer touch, and

00:22:58.290 –> 00:23:08.470
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know I will tell you what I’m going to do when I do it like, is it okay? If I put my back on your hand, or by the way around your back? And

00:23:09.330 –> 00:23:21.419
Nyk Danu Yoga: and if that’s something that you’re not comfortable with, then can you just let me know after the like? Let me know after class, and it’ll just be like. I’ll know why. It’s small group. I know who my people are registered series, so I can just not

00:23:21.460 –> 00:23:29.439
Nyk Danu Yoga: touch people. If that’s you know something they’re not comfortable with, and nobody came up and said that they weren’t but I also still

00:23:29.700 –> 00:23:31.120
Nyk Danu Yoga: just didn’t do it

00:23:31.320 –> 00:23:41.099
Nyk Danu Yoga: a lot. It was really only in very select occasions when somebody was just really like not able to feel, and sometimes they would use a prop instead, like I might

00:23:41.570 –> 00:24:01.120
Nyk Danu Yoga: put a block on their body and say, Can you feel the block here? So there was a bit of that in our training? Also, with one of the male faculty members. He talked a lot about how anytime he’s doing an adjustment on a female, if at all possible. He’s usually got a prop between

00:24:01.210 –> 00:24:04.779
Nyk Danu Yoga: him. So if he’s going to put his hand on somebody, he might put like a chip foam block

00:24:04.930 –> 00:24:13.400
Nyk Danu Yoga: which I thought was for 2,003. This was actually pretty, you know, aware.

00:24:13.620 –> 00:24:15.610
Nyk Danu Yoga: but that’s kind of how my journey

00:24:15.690 –> 00:24:20.720
Nyk Danu Yoga: went with that. Now, that being said, I also do some hands on modalities.

00:24:20.760 –> 00:24:35.810
Nyk Danu Yoga: but when people see me for those they know they’re signing up for hands on Yoga, right? So it’s like it. They know that I am. It is facilitated stretching. But yeah, yeah, but it’s so amazing how it’s changed

00:24:35.820 –> 00:24:38.920
Nyk Danu Yoga: over the course of

00:24:39.360 –> 00:24:43.129
Nicole Marcia (she/her): I mean, just not even that long of a time, you know. Yeah.

00:24:43.360 –> 00:24:47.400
Nicole Marcia (she/her): yeah, this idea of trauma sensitivity is

00:24:48.590 –> 00:24:49.700
Nicole Marcia (she/her): become

00:24:50.430 –> 00:24:52.870
Nicole Marcia (she/her): pretty well known

00:24:53.080 –> 00:25:01.169
Nicole Marcia (she/her): for sure. When I was first starting practicing, there was no conversation at the start of

00:25:01.320 –> 00:25:08.610
Nicole Marcia (she/her): practice about what to expect or what would be happening. You know there was a

00:25:08.680 –> 00:25:16.530
Nicole Marcia (she/her): chanting, a prayer, and and we would begin. And you learned by watching everybody received consistent

00:25:16.980 –> 00:25:30.159
Nicole Marcia (she/her): hands on assist. When I was trained I was trained that everybody in the class would receive some kind of an assist. They were alignment based. But they were also based in this idea of, you know, going further into the form

00:25:30.200 –> 00:25:40.329
Nicole Marcia (she/her): so pretty far off of that idea of trauma informed at that time, and and that was also around the time of 2,003, 2,004.

00:25:40.990 –> 00:25:42.340
Nyk Danu Yoga: And so then

00:25:42.510 –> 00:25:59.480
Nyk Danu Yoga: so you’re you’re in your boss’s office. You have this conversation. You go well, shit some research. Here you get on the Google and you find the Trauma center. So let’s kind of maybe pick it up with that. Yeah. So I

00:26:00.490 –> 00:26:04.260
found, this initial 40 h training. And and

00:26:04.330 –> 00:26:09.900
Nicole Marcia (she/her): since then have done over 300¬†h of training with them. And so now I’m something called a

00:26:10.470 –> 00:26:16.900
Nicole Marcia (she/her): a trauma center trauma sensitive yoga facilitator. But that initial 40 h

00:26:16.930 –> 00:26:20.180
Nicole Marcia (she/her): really shifted things for me

00:26:20.350 –> 00:26:22.849
Nicole Marcia (she/her): at work. So

00:26:24.870 –> 00:26:27.959
Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know what I came to understand

00:26:28.070 –> 00:26:35.809
Nicole Marcia (she/her): at work. And and actually, things really shifted for me personally, too, in terms of understanding my own experience. So at work.

00:26:36.770 –> 00:26:48.299
Nicole Marcia (she/her): II just got that like, it wasn’t important for me to be trying to design practices that we’re gonna meet sort of like the individual needs of each

00:26:48.870 –> 00:27:00.289
Nicole Marcia (she/her): client. And in in my class, you know, in terms of what was happening with their psychological health and what was happening with their substance use, and it was like, no wonder I’d have been having a hard time doing that.

00:27:00.470 –> 00:27:04.860
Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know. It just wasn’t. It’s not exactly the way that Yoga is

00:27:06.830 –> 00:27:13.039
Nicole Marcia (she/her): developed. Given that it’s not pathological. What became really clear to me, you know.

00:27:13.150 –> 00:27:39.799
Nicole Marcia (she/her): professionally, was that was actually more important for me to be designing practice. That would it? Practices that would address the trauma that was at the root of what most of my clients were suffering in the first place, and also at the root of a lot of their substance. Use and then you know personally what I came to understand, which was a real, you know, epiphany for me at that time, although I think this is pretty common knowledge now was that I had been using drugs and alcohol

00:27:40.260 –> 00:27:43.399
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and cigarettes nicotine in order to

00:27:43.570 –> 00:27:56.310
Nicole Marcia (she/her): manage my nervous system, which had become dysregulated, you know, in the aftermath of the trauma that I had experienced, and Yoga. A pretty regular practice of Yoga had helped to regulate

00:27:57.360 –> 00:27:58.949
Nicole Marcia (she/her): my nervous system.

00:27:59.030 –> 00:28:04.669
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Umhm. So then the focus really became

00:28:05.780 –> 00:28:20.389
Nicole Marcia (she/her): trauma and understanding other mental health conditions, and how they’re connected to traumatic experience and also understanding substance use as a way of managing some of the

00:28:20.470 –> 00:28:26.150
Nicole Marcia (she/her): psychological, emotional, and somatic aftermath of traumatic experience. Yeah.

00:28:26.350 –> 00:28:32.299
Nyk Danu Yoga: did you find after your so when you took your first kind of 40¬†h training, I’m sure

00:28:32.430 –> 00:28:36.999
Nyk Danu Yoga: if if it was even remotely like the experience that I had when I did your training.

00:28:37.230 –> 00:28:40.000
Nyk Danu Yoga: There was.

00:28:40.410 –> 00:28:49.019
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m guessing some like, Oh, I need to rework a lot of things, or I need to rethink the way that I do things and say things. And

00:28:49.130 –> 00:29:01.449
Nyk Danu Yoga: was there a bit of a time there of kind of assimilating that into before you decided to take the next level, or did you know right away after that 40¬†h you were like, I’m going all in.

00:29:02.170 –> 00:29:08.890
Nicole Marcia (she/her): It took time for me to assume. simulate what I had been learning.

00:29:09.470 –> 00:29:13.419
Nicole Marcia (she/her): because I’m a slow learner.

00:29:13.520 –> 00:29:18.750
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and because I was so entrenched in a directive

00:29:19.330 –> 00:29:36.759
Nicole Marcia (she/her): perspective. Do you know what I mean, like, I’m the teacher, you know. I I’m telling people what to do with their bodies, and I had just never questioned that before. I’d never questioned any of the implications around that. So it was a slow

00:29:37.560 –> 00:29:43.799
Nicole Marcia (she/her): process, but it just made so much sense in terms of understanding

00:29:43.890 –> 00:29:49.150
Nicole Marcia (she/her): my clients experiences in those settings. I mean.

00:29:49.300 –> 00:29:58.290
Nicole Marcia (she/her): it just made so much sense. So it was very, very compelling, like I really felt like I had

00:29:59.630 –> 00:30:03.930
Nicole Marcia (she/her): found a key to something I had unlocked something there.

00:30:05.010 –> 00:30:33.430
Nyk Danu Yoga: I felt like after I took your training, which at the time at the Yoga Therapy College, shout out Ajna, that I took your training at allowed us to take the training and then do some of our mentorship by sort of helping for the next one. So I did. I took your 20 h, and then, of course, all of the other ones, the the intent psychological, intensive. And then the therapeutic relationship, which is brilliant.

00:30:33.590 –> 00:30:44.500
Nyk Danu Yoga: And then II mentored with you so that I could get the info like, I just like, Okay, who do? I want to mentor with and like this, information has

00:30:45.050 –> 00:31:00.669
Nyk Danu Yoga: kind of shook me in a way that I feel like I wanna do this. I wanna mentor so that I could get this information again. In it, because, of course, you’re gonna hear things differently the second time. Then you missed the first time, because your brain can only absorb so much all at once.

00:31:00.850 –> 00:31:06.649
Nyk Danu Yoga: And I remember that after the very first training with you having a bit of a

00:31:08.600 –> 00:31:31.359
Nyk Danu Yoga: a little bit of an internal crisis. Actually, because, although because of my studies with Paul Grilli, I was already had moved away from this sort of right way to do a pose or air quotes or alignment thing. So I was already not directing people with these. I mean, of course, you have to give some words, but leaving open space for just like.

00:31:32.040 –> 00:31:38.070
Nyk Danu Yoga: stand out. You’re comfortable instead of these like, put your feet here, you know. So I had already been doing that.

00:31:38.780 –> 00:31:40.700
Nyk Danu Yoga: But what I realized

00:31:41.880 –> 00:31:57.209
Nyk Danu Yoga: through studying with you is that a lot of what? And we can maybe get into this as you start to shift into your studies at the center a lot of what is considered trauma sensitive, yoga, and that if mistake, if I’m not mistaken, that’s tm, essentially, isn’t it?

00:31:57.860 –> 00:32:02.670
Nyk Danu Yoga: The word trauma sensitive? I don’t think so. OKI thought that they kind of

00:32:02.890 –> 00:32:15.369
Nyk Danu Yoga: so I never say I’m trauma sensitive. I say I’m trauma informed, because I’m like. I haven’t studied with them, you know, just through my yoga therapy, but I thought that there was more of a you know. Don’t use that unless you’ve trained their thing.

00:32:15.410 –> 00:32:35.000
Nicole Marcia (she/her): I probably would have been saying that quite a bit when I first started as a way to kind of honor what David and his colleagues were doing at the trauma Center. But you know so much has changed now, like they have a certification. That’s trauma center trauma sensitive yoga.

00:32:35.490 –> 00:32:37.930
Nicole Marcia (she/her): so that would sort of be

00:32:38.970 –> 00:32:43.360
Nyk Danu Yoga: I appreciate, though. Be mindful of. Yeah, I appreciate

00:32:43.710 –> 00:32:55.050
Nyk Danu Yoga: clarity around the terms, though, because, as we know in the Yoga verse, it’s the wild world West. Everybody just says everything. Words mean nothing. And so it’s really hard as a teacher and as a student to know.

00:32:55.610 –> 00:33:08.469
Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay, well, this one’s teaching power. Yoga, but this one’s teaching power, Yoga, but like they look nothing alike. And so it can be very confusing, you know. So II appreciate. That’s why I went with trauma informed also, because

00:33:09.080 –> 00:33:15.970
Nyk Danu Yoga: so, as somebody who had a huge background in Yin and was very passionate about Yin, and had seen

00:33:16.190 –> 00:33:25.339
Nyk Danu Yoga: so much transformation from the practice taught in a I’m just going to do. Air quotes therapeutic way, because the way I teach Ian is a little different than

00:33:25.480 –> 00:33:27.369
what might be out there.

00:33:27.750 –> 00:33:32.849
Nyk Danu Yoga: And I had worked one on one with clients who were

00:33:33.060 –> 00:33:39.880
Nyk Danu Yoga: definitely dealing with trauma, who sought me out because they found me on a yin registry.

00:33:39.980 –> 00:33:49.719
Nyk Danu Yoga: And so it was like I was trying to put all these things together in my mind, because from the some of the definitions that I was taught. Yin couldn’t be

00:33:50.230 –> 00:34:02.750
Nyk Danu Yoga: because of its nature of being sort of still and quiet, and you know, and the teacher, generally speaking, isn’t doing the practice with the students. We’re just demoing and so it’s like, How can I

00:34:03.080 –> 00:34:09.409
Nyk Danu Yoga: do this thing that I love Yin and bring this new information

00:34:09.449 –> 00:34:10.510
Nyk Danu Yoga: in.

00:34:11.199 –> 00:34:25.689
Nyk Danu Yoga: And it it yeah, it was. It was a bit of a trip. To be honest, I had a little crisis of faith. I was like, how am I going to do this? And that’s when I realized that I could take the Yin that I was teaching, and I could make it what I call now therapeutic yin

00:34:25.920 –> 00:34:44.330
Nyk Danu Yoga: so, taking in all of the my teacher Paul, is all about. There is no one size fits everybody agency. Do whatever you want. He never corrects anybody. Ever you grab your props, you come out when you want you. You know you do your own thing. So there was none of that that really needed to be

00:34:44.520 –> 00:34:45.590
Nyk Danu Yoga: addressed.

00:34:45.600 –> 00:34:50.250
Nyk Danu Yoga: But just a lot of things that like I had never thought of

00:34:50.530 –> 00:34:56.229
Nyk Danu Yoga: that I learned in my training with you that I slowly it had to come in really slowly.

00:34:56.780 –> 00:35:11.659
Nyk Danu Yoga: That was funny when you said that you are a slow learner for me. I just feel like I’m the type of person that needs to. I think it’s an introvert thing. Bring in the information, and then I need to sit with it for a while. I need to meditate on it, to think on it. I need to practice it.

00:35:11.670 –> 00:35:19.800
Nyk Danu Yoga: so that when these things do come out in my teaching, they’re coming from my own sort of felt experience and my own words as opposed to just like

00:35:19.850 –> 00:35:22.980
Nyk Danu Yoga: I did this training, and I’m going to parrot what my teacher said. And

00:35:23.110 –> 00:35:30.480
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know what I mean like I just for me to feel like I can stand behind what I’m doing. I need to have a like a real felt sense of

00:35:31.130 –> 00:35:36.110
Nyk Danu Yoga: what does this mean to me? What’s gonna change? And then the changes were really small.

00:35:36.200 –> 00:35:38.740
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and

00:35:38.990 –> 00:35:44.589
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, so I could talk a bit little bit more about some of the things that I changed

00:35:44.640 –> 00:35:47.319
Nyk Danu Yoga: once we get to that place. But

00:35:47.910 –> 00:35:57.210
Nyk Danu Yoga: I would love to hear a just like a little synapses of kind of what were some of your big light bulbs when you started doing this training.

00:35:57.360 –> 00:36:06.570
Nyk Danu Yoga: And then I’ll I can share some of the ones that I had to bring in, and then maybe we can just even give a few tips for teachers for the with when they hear this, they’re like, Oh, crap!

00:36:06.950 –> 00:36:14.629
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Oh, crap! You know, like just a few simple things that they can just slowly start to introduce that

00:36:14.800 –> 00:36:30.230
Nicole Marcia (she/her): in any style of yoga that could make a difference. Well, II do want to just take a moment and really distinguish Trauma Center. Trauma. Sensitive Yoga from trauma informed Yoga. Teaching so trauma center trauma. Sensitive Yoga is

00:36:30.660 –> 00:36:35.439
Nicole Marcia (she/her): a empirically validated treatment approach

00:36:35.500 –> 00:36:38.149
for folks who are living with

00:36:38.600 –> 00:36:48.100
Nicole Marcia (she/her): complex post-traumatic stress disorder and treatment resistant. Ptsd, so

00:36:48.270 –> 00:36:55.830
Nicole Marcia (she/her): there’s been very robust research on TCTS. Y.

00:36:55.960 –> 00:36:56.880

00:36:57.210 –> 00:36:58.880
Nicole Marcia (she/her): a modality.

00:36:59.770 –> 00:37:06.819
Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know, and and as like a protocol, I think, is probably more appropriate term.

00:37:07.330 –> 00:37:10.399
Nicole Marcia (she/her): So it has very

00:37:10.690 –> 00:37:12.290
Nicole Marcia (she/her): structured

00:37:13.590 –> 00:37:15.030
Nicole Marcia (she/her): parameters

00:37:15.140 –> 00:37:18.380
Nicole Marcia (she/her): in terms of what one does and doesn’t do.

00:37:20.020 –> 00:37:33.629
Nicole Marcia (she/her): When I speak about trauma, informed Yoga. I’m talking about something that certainly finds its foundations in tctsy, but is not pure tctsy

00:37:33.670 –> 00:37:57.460
Nicole Marcia (she/her): gotcha. It brings in other aspects like. And when I’m you know, and there are other people that are, you know, bringing forward really beautiful expressions of trauma, informed yoga but when I’m talking about what I offer, you know, it’s it’s really rooted in that training, but also brings in what I learned in yoga therapy what I’ve learned working in

00:37:57.460 –> 00:38:07.140
Nicole Marcia (she/her): concurrent disorders, etc., etc. So there’s a little bit more fluidity there, and I think that trauma informed yoga the ideas and

00:38:08.210 –> 00:38:18.750
Nicole Marcia (she/her): The techniques in it can be interwoven or over lane. like overlaid over almost any different style of yoga.

00:38:19.100 –> 00:38:32.040
Nicole Marcia (she/her): right brilliant. So there are things like what we do with language. invitational language, and the language of inquiry. Right? These are pieces that you can bring into any kind of practice.

00:38:32.380 –> 00:38:41.839
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Do you want me to talk a little bit about what those terms mean. Or, yeah, I think it would be great, because there are a lot of teachers for sure listening to this.

00:38:42.030 –> 00:38:44.529
Nyk Danu Yoga: Yeah, if you can. Just.

00:38:44.630 –> 00:38:52.169
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, if you want to pick just I don’t know 3 to 5 of your your favorites that that are things that people

00:38:52.340 –> 00:39:16.060
Nicole Marcia (she/her): could start to do. And then yes, definitely defining what that means. For sure, that’d be great. Thank you. So language is one that tends to stick out for people and tends to be one of those. Oh, crap moments! So really in trauma, informed Yoga. You know we’re looking at this idea of moving from a place of being directive to a place of being invitational. And

00:39:16.110 –> 00:39:17.679
Nicole Marcia (she/her): one of the

00:39:18.380 –> 00:39:25.479
Nicole Marcia (she/her): reasons why invitational language is seen as being more trauma-informed or trauma sensitive

00:39:26.060 –> 00:39:29.269
Nicole Marcia (she/her): is because it’s an expression of choice.

00:39:29.670 –> 00:39:42.930
Nicole Marcia (she/her): And if we sit with the idea that choice is something that’s inherently taken away in the context of traumatic experience, then the idea of giving choice back to the student

00:39:43.040 –> 00:39:55.390
Nicole Marcia (she/her): in terms in particular, what they do with their body becomes really important. Right? So invitational language can be things like as you’re ready in your own time if it feels right for you.

00:39:57.280 –> 00:40:05.600
Nicole Marcia (she/her): So invitational language is like. This expression of choice and choice is a really important piece of

00:40:05.890 –> 00:40:19.390
Nicole Marcia (she/her): building, rebuilding, an experience of empowerment. And you know, if we look at some of the work in particular. If somebody like you know, Doctor Judith Herman, empowerment is a really essential part

00:40:19.410 –> 00:40:21.110
Nicole Marcia (she/her): of moving

00:40:21.950 –> 00:40:27.420
towards the integration of some of the ideas and emotions associated

00:40:27.690 –> 00:40:35.110
Nicole Marcia (she/her): with traumatic experience. The language of inquiry includes words that are like

00:40:35.520 –> 00:40:42.929
notice. Observe, pay attention, and what mostly what we’re observing and paying attention to is physical sensation.

00:40:43.110 –> 00:40:54.229
Nicole Marcia (she/her): so we’re not telling our students what they should be feeling or where they should be feeling, it we’re inviting them to do something with their bodies and notice sensation. And

00:40:54.760 –> 00:40:59.969
Nicole Marcia (she/her): theoretically, what this does is, it increases experiences of

00:41:00.040 –> 00:41:08.499
Nicole Marcia (she/her): intraceptive awareness, or enhances experiences of feeling. What you feel hopefully, safely in your body.

00:41:10.360 –> 00:41:13.350
Nicole Marcia (she/her): This is rooted in this idea, that

00:41:14.670 –> 00:41:21.559
Nicole Marcia (she/her): if our bodies feel like unsafe places to be, which can certainly be the case, you know

00:41:22.810 –> 00:41:34.210
Nicole Marcia (she/her): if trauma is something that’s happened in the past or is sort of ongoing, then one of the things that we’re able to do that’s pretty adaptive is to abdicate from our bodies.

00:41:34.330 –> 00:41:39.250
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Again, this is really adaptive, but it can start to cause us problems, if

00:41:40.700 –> 00:41:47.500
Nicole Marcia (she/her): not feeling. What’s happening in our bodies means that we’re having trouble caring for ourselves

00:41:47.540 –> 00:42:05.439
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and or not feeling what’s happening in our bodies. makes it hard to feel safe in the world and safe in relationships. So when we use the language of inquiry, inquiry, we’re creating a container for our students to practice

00:42:05.460 –> 00:42:18.889
Nicole Marcia (she/her): noticing what’s happening in their bodies. feeling hopefully safer in their bodies and safer in the world and in relationships and increasing experiences of introceptive awareness.

00:42:19.020 –> 00:42:22.009
Nicole Marcia (she/her): So the language piece can be a really big piece.

00:42:22.280 –> 00:42:39.630
Nicole Marcia (she/her): And often when I’m training people, there’s this kind of like wide-eyed like, Whoa, did I hurt anybody? And it’s you know, by telling them what to do with their bodies and telling them, you know where you know how it should feel. And II always remind folks like, you know, our our students are not

00:42:40.280 –> 00:42:41.730
Nicole Marcia (she/her): fragile little

00:42:42.570 –> 00:42:45.829
Nicole Marcia (she/her): people. They’re okay. They’ll survive our yoga classes.

00:42:45.990 –> 00:42:49.379
Nyk Danu Yoga: Yeah, I had. I had a very similar

00:42:50.400 –> 00:42:54.629
Nyk Danu Yoga: meltdown when I took the training. I would say that

00:42:55.130 –> 00:43:04.959
Nyk Danu Yoga: it was interesting, because part of our training was practice teaching, and you were so kind to say, ask us first of all, if we wanted feedback, and we had the right to say no, and then ask if we wanted it

00:43:05.010 –> 00:43:16.290
Nyk Danu Yoga: in person or email, or and one of the things that you told me was that I overdid the invitations because and I think that’s because I was so used to.

00:43:17.060 –> 00:43:28.250
Nyk Danu Yoga: for the most part teaching that way, anyway, because when I started studying with Paul and realizing that there wasn’t one experience for everybody, I’d already let go of a lot of that directiveness.

00:43:28.340 –> 00:43:40.889
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and so then. But then, so I was adding like invitations on top of my invitations on. And it was just getting wordy. It were just like you’re ready in your own time and

00:43:42.450 –> 00:43:50.379
Nyk Danu Yoga: One thing that I and I don’t know. I don’t think that I got this from your training, but I but I guess it was an adaptation in my own teaching was

00:43:50.830 –> 00:44:01.519
Nyk Danu Yoga: because in yen sometimes we do talk about the well. They say the target area. I don’t use that word. I say the intended area, but I also say

00:44:01.680 –> 00:44:08.229
Nyk Danu Yoga: often. Now I’ll say I tend to feel this here, but you might have a completely different experience.

00:44:08.690 –> 00:44:26.109
Nyk Danu Yoga: just because I find that in especially in studio culture, people will be like, Am I doing this right? Where should I feel this right? And so I’ll just say I feel this here in my body, but just know that you might feel it somewhere else or not feel it at all, and it’s all good, you know. And then yes, that that interception

00:44:26.520 –> 00:44:32.409
Nyk Danu Yoga: is, I think. really, if if people are practicing in in a moderate way

00:44:32.820 –> 00:44:39.849
Nyk Danu Yoga: an awesome opportunity because you are there for 3 min to notice sensations. Now we have to. We have to be.

00:44:40.650 –> 00:44:53.299
Nyk Danu Yoga: Anyone who’s listening to the pod knows that I’m I’m always banging the therapeutic drum here that we have to be moderate with sensations. We can’t be putting people into their full expression of some pose that they can do in saying.

00:44:53.510 –> 00:44:58.389
Nyk Danu Yoga: Hang out there for 3¬†min and see how that feels like that’s not appropriate.

00:44:59.140 –> 00:45:07.499
Nyk Danu Yoga: So languaging, invitational, languaging, became one and then I don’t. I have no idea. I don’t think I got this from you, but using my own

00:45:07.610 –> 00:45:16.950
Nyk Danu Yoga: experience, saying, You know, this is what I noticed, but it might be different, for you felt like a way that I could still mention these things without people feeling like

00:45:17.120 –> 00:45:24.809
Nyk Danu Yoga: they weren’t getting it right or like, I had a specific goal or idea for them to feel this in their body.

00:45:26.250 –> 00:45:30.369
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Yeah, I mean, I think that one of the things that

00:45:31.820 –> 00:45:41.989
Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know, in in particular, like trauma, informed teaching or or invitational language is often criticized for is for being too wishy washy. Right? So we will have folks that will

00:45:42.390 –> 00:45:52.520
Nicole Marcia (she/her): layer those, and it takes practice right? They’ll layer like 3 or 4 invitations on, and so keeping the language succinct

00:45:52.620 –> 00:45:56.079
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and understanding. I think that what we’re doing

00:45:56.380 –> 00:46:07.029
Nicole Marcia (she/her): is one of the ways that we create safety, which I is one of the primary focuses of a trauma, informed Yoga classes like, how do we? How do we create safety

00:46:08.370 –> 00:46:16.189
Nicole Marcia (she/her): is by creating a predictable container? And containers have edges on them or boundaries? Right?

00:46:16.640 –> 00:46:24.310
Nicole Marcia (she/her): They’re not just loosey, goosey kinds of things. So we’re creating containers

00:46:24.510 –> 00:46:27.540
Nicole Marcia (she/her): by through language.

00:46:28.540 –> 00:46:38.599
Nicole Marcia (she/her): through what we’re doing with our bodies and through offering like a B choice. So this is another kind of expression of choice like

00:46:40.070 –> 00:46:43.910
Nicole Marcia (she/her): you could extend your arms out about shoulder’s height.

00:46:44.390 –> 00:47:00.539
Nicole Marcia (she/her): or you might raise your arms up overhead. Your choice right? Very different than you know. You could extend your arms out or like up, or maybe on your side, or maybe anywhere, right? They’re very different

00:47:00.800 –> 00:47:08.890
Nicole Marcia (she/her): things. Now. People are ultimately going to choose what they want to do with their bodies. And that’s cool. Right? That’s that’s good in the space and

00:47:09.240 –> 00:47:14.640
Nicole Marcia (she/her): choice making is a such a big part of of the practice.

00:47:16.100 –> 00:47:27.630
Nicole Marcia (she/her): But I think that as trauma-informed Yoga therapists and Yoga teachers, a big part of what we’re doing is creating the parameters of the space so that our students can feel safe enough to practice

00:47:28.120 –> 00:47:34.160
Nicole Marcia (she/her): self-regulation and self-awareness. If the space is too loosey-goosey.

00:47:34.370 –> 00:47:42.040
Nicole Marcia (she/her): they’re gonna get annoyed. or, you know. agitated. At worst, you know, triggered.

00:47:42.180 –> 00:47:59.589
Nyk Danu Yoga: And sometimes there’s that looking around the room because you’ve been so nebulous they don’t really understand what it is that they’re doing. And so they’re looking at their neighbor like, what? Huh? What am I doing? You know? Yeah. And that’s not what we’re doing. We’re we’re actually really holding a container. We’re holding a space.

00:48:00.270 –> 00:48:05.190
Nyk Danu Yoga: I think that also speaks to accessibility.

00:48:05.710 –> 00:48:09.570
Nyk Danu Yoga: That, you know, when you give more than one option.

00:48:09.580 –> 00:48:20.019
Nyk Danu Yoga: You’re acknowledging that not everybody can do all of the options, you know. So when you said you could put your arms here, or you could put them here that I think when I hear that

00:48:20.080 –> 00:48:25.719
Nyk Danu Yoga: leads me as the student to go. Oh, okay, there’s options here like it’s not just.

00:48:26.120 –> 00:48:39.619
Nyk Danu Yoga: I have to do it this way, and so I might, even as a student, come up with a third option that you didn’t mention. But I might. I would feel more comfortable to do so because you gave us some options instead of a rigid like. This is how this should look.

00:48:40.680 –> 00:48:48.299
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Yeah. And hopefully, you know, you’re creating like a culture like the creation of the culture of the class begins

00:48:48.350 –> 00:48:59.890
Nicole Marcia (she/her): right at the very beginning. So you know, if you’re working in a studio. It begins in terms of the write up of the class. That’s where you start to create a culture like when I was teaching in studios.

00:49:01.380 –> 00:49:08.559
Nicole Marcia (she/her): I would be very explicit, for example, that there would be no hands on assist offered in the class. I’m creating something there

00:49:09.510 –> 00:49:20.459
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and then. There’s, you know, the communication with students. And then there’s what you say at the beginning of the class, like you’ve got choices and everything that we do here.

00:49:20.830 –> 00:49:25.139
Nicole Marcia (she/her): And slowly, slowly we start to build up a culture of.

00:49:26.180 –> 00:49:35.549
Nicole Marcia (she/her): I’ve got some structure for you, and there’s room to move within that structure. And people start to get that

00:49:36.800 –> 00:49:43.050
Nicole Marcia (she/her): one of the very simple things that I took away from your training that had never occurred to me before

00:49:44.320 –> 00:49:49.550
Nyk Danu Yoga: was letting people know when I was leaving my mat to move around the room

00:49:50.780 –> 00:49:53.880
Nyk Danu Yoga: and locking doors.

00:49:55.030 –> 00:50:06.310
Nyk Danu Yoga: Those never occurred to me because of just my own lived experience. But as soon as you pointed out that you know we and you can maybe address these a little bit like why, we might want to say

00:50:06.420 –> 00:50:15.599
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m going over to just adjust the lights. Now I’m coming back to my yoga mat, or one of the locations I teach at. I need to go in between these 2 glass doors.

00:50:16.730 –> 00:50:33.320
Nyk Danu Yoga: or sorry these 2 doors to turn a light on, and then I have to come back out, and I have to re lock the door. And so, before the training with you. It never would have occurred to me to say, I’m going to unlock this door because I need to turn this light on. Okay, I’m coming back out. I’m just gonna lock this door so that we don’t get interrupted.

00:50:34.030 –> 00:50:47.010
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, and they know there’s there’s another door anyways that’s totally unlocked. But I but it never would have occurred to me to to address the fact that I’m closing these doors. But please know they’re not locked. You can come and go as you need.

00:50:47.170 –> 00:50:48.319
Nyk Danu Yoga: You’d think that

00:50:48.440 –> 00:50:54.769
Nyk Danu Yoga: never would have occurred to me. So that’s what I mean by like. There was just so many little things where I was like, oh.

00:50:55.040 –> 00:51:06.149
Nyk Danu Yoga: how am I going to incorporate this and And languaging? II ended up rewording 90% of the language that I was taught

00:51:06.270 –> 00:51:17.259
Nyk Danu Yoga: in my in training because they just didn’t sit right after that training. So, for example, the word target area, I was like, target. Hmm!

00:51:17.500 –> 00:51:30.500
Nyk Danu Yoga: Don’t love that, you know. And so now I just say intended there’s so many little words, and II talked about them all in a different episode, so I won’t bore the regular listeners by saying them all again. But it just

00:51:30.590 –> 00:51:34.830
Nyk Danu Yoga: even things like I used to say something as simple as notice.

00:51:35.240 –> 00:51:43.149
Nyk Danu Yoga: The skin that is exposed to the air. I said that for years, and then, after that training, I was like exposed

00:51:43.440 –> 00:51:45.070
Nicole Marcia (she/her): like. Is that really

00:51:45.250 –> 00:52:00.120
Nyk Danu Yoga: the word that I want to use? I’m not so sure, you know, like just so many, even just calling the Asana’s poses. I don’t do that any more. I just call them shapes. So yeah, it was just really. And and you know, it’s not like.

00:52:00.300 –> 00:52:19.060
Nyk Danu Yoga: please, dear teacher, don’t start making a checklist and start doing all of the things that really stood out to me. This is why you should take a training with Nicole, which will be linked below. So that when you are sitting and hearing this information, you can be like, oh, what’s now standing out about the way that

00:52:19.390 –> 00:52:28.189
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m teaching that actually, I never thought of, because it was just sort of handed down to me, but isn’t maybe skillful, you know.

00:52:28.440 –> 00:52:48.400
Nicole Marcia (she/her): using the word edge is another one. Come to your edge. I’m like Whoa, please. No edges. I think that that’s a big piece like II really resonate with what you’re saying is mostly, I just started getting a lot more conscientious around my communication, which, when one is teaching or is just out in the world, I think, is really important. Like

00:52:49.850 –> 00:52:55.230
Nicole Marcia (she/her): being mindful about what’s coming out of one’s

00:52:55.490 –> 00:53:17.890
Nicole Marcia (she/her): mouth. – And the pieces that you’re talking about in terms of like letting students know where you are in the room. what you’re doing, why, you’re doing it, that’s all. Part of creating a predictable container right sort of goes back to the culture of class, the container of the class. I always know where Nicole’s gonna be in the room.

00:53:18.620 –> 00:53:29.349
Nicole Marcia (she/her): because she tells me I always know that when Nicole locks the door she’s gonna tell me, and she’s gonna let me know how to leave if I need to do that

00:53:29.420 –> 00:53:47.269
Nicole Marcia (she/her): So there’s sort of like the predictability and the culture of the class and the environment. And then there’s also this very, very important piece around the relationship between the the teacher or the therapist and the student

00:53:48.850 –> 00:53:52.309
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and or client. And

00:53:54.080 –> 00:53:58.450
Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know the relationship

00:53:59.570 –> 00:54:20.519
Nicole Marcia (she/her): between the student and the teacher is one of the places where healing from trauma has the potential to occur. In particular, the kinds of wounds that we may sustain in the context of interpersonal trauma. So if that is where we have had our experiences of

00:54:20.920 –> 00:54:26.790
empowerment, safety connection, trust damaged.

00:54:27.210 –> 00:54:28.270
Nicole Marcia (she/her): then

00:54:30.050 –> 00:54:34.520
Nicole Marcia (she/her): relationship is where those are going to be repaired.

00:54:35.820 –> 00:54:42.970
Nicole Marcia (she/her): And because the teacher’s student relationship is one with a power imbalance.

00:54:43.330 –> 00:54:44.959
Nyk Danu Yoga: whether we like it or not.

00:54:45.020 –> 00:54:47.870
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Which also, yeah, which also

00:54:48.130 –> 00:54:55.410
Nicole Marcia (she/her): is gonna exist always in the context of interpersonal trauma. There’s always going to be a power imbalance there, too.

00:54:55.740 –> 00:55:04.690
We really, really, really, really want to tend to that relationship in a very, very mindful way. If we don’t.

00:55:04.880 –> 00:55:09.810
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Then we have the potential to sort of reenact

00:55:10.560 –> 00:55:13.230
Nicole Marcia (she/her): some of the aspects of

00:55:14.960 –> 00:55:27.990
Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know, manipulation or coercion or abuse that happened in the original abuser trauma scenario. So creating predictability

00:55:28.990 –> 00:55:31.420
Nicole Marcia (she/her): happens in a lot of different ways.

00:55:31.780 –> 00:55:39.229
Nicole Marcia (she/her): In the ways that you listed. And and also, you know, in terms of the way that we show up

00:55:39.350 –> 00:55:42.649
Nyk Danu Yoga: as human beings with our students. Umhm.

00:55:43.820 –> 00:55:46.970
Nyk Danu Yoga: one of the things that I think

00:55:47.320 –> 00:55:58.469
Nyk Danu Yoga: I think, from what I’ve witnessed, and I’ve in my early teaching years had a similar experienced with, is this relationship blurring between Yoga

00:55:58.500 –> 00:56:03.090
Nyk Danu Yoga: student? And then sometime, because sometimes Yoga students want to become your friend

00:56:04.430 –> 00:56:05.630
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and

00:56:06.060 –> 00:56:28.219
Nyk Danu Yoga: a lot of Yoga teachers are just like, so what? So we all go for brunch after. and others like myself, who are are like no, because II only did it once when I was an early teacher. And nothing like atrocious happened by becoming friends with the student. But what I be. But it became crystal clear to me that

00:56:29.440 –> 00:56:36.620
Nyk Danu Yoga: that that student had a very sort of pedestalized, if that’s a word version of who I was.

00:56:37.030 –> 00:56:39.510
Nicole Marcia (she/her): That was a very, so very

00:56:39.540 –> 00:56:53.860
Nyk Danu Yoga: significant chunk of my personality, but was just part of my personality, because what they see when I show up to teach is one expression of me. But there’s all these other expressions that I don’t bring to Yoga work because they’re not relevant.

00:56:54.250 –> 00:57:00.209
Nyk Danu Yoga: and that so what what she was seeking really was.

00:57:00.340 –> 00:57:19.440
Nyk Danu Yoga: Not so much a friendship in the way that I think of our friendship because I think of a friendship. If we’re friends. Then, you know, you’re gonna acknowledge that I’m a human being, and if I’ve had a shit day, I’m gonna you know what I’m it’s like mutually it’s reciprocated, whereas what was happening with that dynamic is.

00:57:19.550 –> 00:57:25.959
Nyk Danu Yoga: she unconsciously was wanting to get closer connected with me, but was kind of

00:57:26.090 –> 00:57:31.369
Nyk Danu Yoga: almost using me like an unpaid and very unqualified therapist.

00:57:31.380 –> 00:57:33.729
Nyk Danu Yoga: And so I had to.

00:57:33.930 –> 00:57:46.000
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, I mean II luckily I didn’t have to do anything extreme, because life sometimes, as it does just kind of, you know. life paths go different ways. And but it made me very aware

00:57:46.070 –> 00:58:07.059
Nyk Danu Yoga: after that, because this does happen a lot to me where students and I don’t know how many other teachers have this. Maybe it’s because I’m I’m fairly casual person by nature and crack jokes about my at my own expense all the time, and so I think people find me relatable. And so then sometimes this layer of wanting to to be friend can come out. And

00:58:07.930 –> 00:58:17.709
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know I remember talking to my teacher Paul about that one time, because it had happened so many times in like a short time, and I just said, like. like, I just don’t feel like it’s professional for me to be

00:58:18.110 –> 00:58:28.960
Nyk Danu Yoga: friends with my students, and I don’t really know how to deal with that. And he said, It’s absolutely not professional for you to have friendships with your students, and he said, and you should just tell them that

00:58:29.030 –> 00:58:34.890
Nyk Danu Yoga: that like this is a professional relationship. And just like you probably don’t hang out with your chiropractor.

00:58:35.880 –> 00:58:46.200
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know. Yeah. And I was like, oh, you mean, just like that. Just just be clear and okay. So it it’s another thing that I think.

00:58:46.870 –> 00:58:55.339
Nyk Danu Yoga: especially when I started. I mean, I always had a little bit of discomfort with it. But then, especially when I started being more aware of trauma.

00:58:55.800 –> 00:58:58.499
Nyk Danu Yoga: And you know the fact that I’m

00:58:58.720 –> 00:59:02.320
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m teaching people. It’s like there’s a whole other layer of

00:59:04.030 –> 00:59:18.260
Nyk Danu Yoga: professional accountability and scope of practice that really needs to be in my mind. And I feel like in the Yoga world it’s talked about about in Yoga therapy circles. But in general Yoga teaching circles not so much. This.

00:59:18.370 –> 00:59:28.439
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, staying in my lane as far as like this is what I’m here to do. This is my professional qualifications. This is what I’m not qualified to do, including being your unpaid therapist.

00:59:28.490 –> 00:59:34.050
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m not your physiotherapist. I’m not your nutritionist like being very clear on like this is what I do.

00:59:34.100 –> 00:59:40.560
Nyk Danu Yoga: And here are business cards for all the other things that you may need, that that aren’t my

00:59:40.580 –> 00:59:44.280
Nyk Danu Yoga: professional, you know, qualifications. Yeah.

00:59:44.550 –> 00:59:45.980
yeah, I

00:59:47.580 –> 00:59:56.590
Nicole Marcia (she/her): II think that boundaries are are important in all relationships, and in particular, in relationships where there are power imbalances.

00:59:56.730 –> 01:00:09.779
Nicole Marcia (she/her): And in particular, again, you know, when you’re working with people who have experienced really profound boundary violations. So those professional boundaries are again one of the aspects of

01:00:09.940 –> 01:00:12.480
Nicole Marcia (she/her): creating safe relationships

01:00:12.550 –> 01:00:28.110
Nicole Marcia (she/her): with people who again may not have experienced safe boundaries with people who are in positions of power. So we can say, like, Hey, it’s for us. And and we’re important in that relationship. And that dyad.

01:00:28.110 –> 01:00:44.529
Nicole Marcia (she/her): And for people who have a little trouble wrapping their heads around professional boundaries. We can say, Hey, it’s for your students. It’s for your clients, because, like, if you go out for brunch with them. And something goes sideways in the personal relationship.

01:00:45.060 –> 01:00:59.650
Nicole Marcia (she/her): That kind of ruins the Yoga relationship for them, too. And then they lose access. Yeah. to yeah, that aspect of the relationship, or or vice versa. So you can actually keep the therapeutic relationship intact

01:01:00.150 –> 01:01:10.889
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and still have an incredible relationship with your students that’s got so much depth, and you can express your care for them, and they can express it back.

01:01:10.940 –> 01:01:21.850
Nyk Danu Yoga: and it can be an incredibly safe place for them to land. But if it starts to go into the personal things can become a lot more complex.

01:01:21.890 –> 01:01:26.220
And II just can. I can just hear Yoga teachers thoughts in my brain right now

01:01:26.390 –> 01:01:32.169
Nicole Marcia (she/her): saying things like, I often have these little little thoughts that I hear like

01:01:32.340 –> 01:01:37.300
Nyk Danu Yoga: What do you mean power balance like I don’t. I don’t have power. There’s no power balance.

01:01:38.520 –> 01:01:46.900
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Do you want to speak to that? Well, I think that there are a lot of sort of intersections.

01:01:47.800 –> 01:01:48.800
Nicole Marcia (she/her): the

01:01:49.670 –> 01:01:58.310
Nicole Marcia (she/her): in which power imbalances get reinforced. I mean, we can start out with

01:01:58.850 –> 01:02:12.249
Nyk Danu Yoga: this idea that just built into a teacher, student relationship is a power and balance right? The teacher is kind of in charge. Whether we like it or not, and that reason I keep saying whether we like it or not is because I can hear teachers saying.

01:02:12.260 –> 01:02:19.830
Nyk Danu Yoga: but no, we’re all one. I don’t want to be. you know, like resist they. They don’t want that position. And yet

01:02:20.010 –> 01:02:25.119
Nyk Danu Yoga: it is there because you are leading the group, you are guiding the group.

01:02:25.150 –> 01:02:28.109
Nicole Marcia (she/her): That’s right. And and you’re getting paid to do that.

01:02:28.340 –> 01:02:42.120
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Often like depending on where you’re teaching. You know a lot more about your students than they know about you. For example, if I’m working in a organization that serves women who are fleeing.

01:02:42.320 –> 01:02:46.750
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Intimate partner, violence.

01:02:47.580 –> 01:02:57.589
Nicole Marcia (she/her): I know something about that group of women right? Like I’m in a position of power. I know something about them that they don’t know about me.

01:02:57.770 –> 01:03:01.049
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Generally speaking.

01:03:02.090 –> 01:03:13.329
Nicole Marcia (she/her): And then then there are other ways, you know, in which there can be power imbalances. So there’s like, there’s what you said about, hey? We’re holding the space and guiding people with what to do

01:03:13.400 –> 01:03:22.730
Nicole Marcia (she/her): with their bodies. There’s this idea of you know us knowing more. And then there are issues of privilege like.

01:03:23.180 –> 01:03:42.269
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, what’s the color of the skin of the teacher. You know how able bodied, or you know, are they? Gender language? Do they speak? You know what’s their gender identity? All of these pieces? You know. How much did it cost for them to get the training that they got?

01:03:42.430 –> 01:03:47.530
Nicole Marcia (she/her): And who’s in the room, you know, or

01:03:47.640 –> 01:04:05.629
Nicole Marcia (she/her): who’s not in the room is sometimes a good question to ask, too, so there are a lot of different pieces where privilege and marginalization and and power can sort of intersect in the context of a Yoga class or an individual session. And we have to

01:04:05.680 –> 01:04:07.569
Nicole Marcia (she/her): attend to these pieces.

01:04:07.680 –> 01:04:22.949
Nyk Danu Yoga: Yeah. even something as simple as after classes. I used to say, if you have any questions. I’m here for a few minutes after class. And then I realized that I needed to get more specific, because I was getting all kinds of questions that I was not qualified to answer

01:04:22.990 –> 01:04:34.280
Nyk Danu Yoga: like they’d come up and move. My knee is hurting. And my this, and I’m like, physio, like, you know. And so I started getting very clear. If you have any questions about our practice time together.

01:04:34.980 –> 01:04:41.109
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m here, you know, if you had a question about this pose, or you wanted to know

01:04:41.270 –> 01:04:50.999
Nyk Danu Yoga: the reading I shared like any of that, you know. Please feel free. Just feel free to just come and say Hello, like all that’s welcome. But I had to start getting really specific because I was getting

01:04:51.170 –> 01:05:13.030
Nyk Danu Yoga: nutrition questions, questions about injuries like, you know, questions that really like they should be seeing a physio therapist or therapist for and I do it in a very nick way where I actually crack that joke at the end that like, just to be very clear, this is what I’m qualified to answer. I’m not a physiotherapist, not a therapist, you know, if you need a good one I can recommend. But like that’s not me, you know.

01:05:14.240 –> 01:05:17.559
Nyk Danu Yoga: So we’ve talked about invitational language

01:05:18.140 –> 01:05:24.000
Nyk Danu Yoga: and understanding kind of moving around the room and power dynamics.

01:05:25.130 –> 01:05:28.590
Nyk Danu Yoga: And is there anything else? If you were to pick like one more

01:05:28.860 –> 01:05:31.270
Nicole Marcia (she/her): kind of yeah.

01:05:31.430 –> 01:05:41.829
Nicole Marcia (she/her): The language of in invitation and the language of inquiry. We’ve spoken about predictability, safety, importance of relationship.

01:05:42.680 –> 01:05:45.430
Nicole Marcia (she/her): boundaries

01:05:46.060 –> 01:05:47.050
Nicole Marcia (she/her): a.

01:05:47.890 –> 01:06:00.849
Nicole Marcia (she/her): And I think you know what you’re talking about all in power and and and what you’re talking about. Also, you know this idea of scope of practice. So be really clear about who you are and who you’re not what you know and what you don’t know.

01:06:02.520 –> 01:06:10.710
Nicole Marcia (she/her): That’s a really important part of creating an authentic kind of relationship, one in which, yielding

01:06:10.900 –> 01:06:13.560
Nicole Marcia (she/her): from trauma can occur.

01:06:14.670 –> 01:06:15.560
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and

01:06:15.930 –> 01:06:24.299
Nicole Marcia (she/her): II think you know the other piece that I just want to add on to the power thing is like. Often, you know, our students are coming to us in vulnerable places.

01:06:25.160 –> 01:06:32.040
Nicole Marcia (she/her): This is another thing that reinforces power. Like I came to Yoga in a vulnerable place.

01:06:33.230 –> 01:06:45.369
Nicole Marcia (she/her): I was struggling. Umhm. I didn’t necessarily show up because I thought Yoga was gonna meet that struggle, but that was very present for me. Had I had teachers who were predatory

01:06:46.050 –> 01:06:51.360
Nicole Marcia (she/her): or who we’re somehow enforcing a culture of

01:06:51.380 –> 01:06:54.010
Nicole Marcia (she/her): spiritual bypassing.

01:06:54.790 –> 01:06:57.139
I could have gotten into a lot of trouble.

01:06:57.830 –> 01:07:10.289
Nicole Marcia (she/her): And that’s another reason why, I think it’s important for Yoga teachers and Yoga therapists to understand that there’s a power differential there. Our students are coming to us with something going on usually.

01:07:11.020 –> 01:07:14.209
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and that puts them into a vulnerable spot.

01:07:15.180 –> 01:07:17.840
Nicole Marcia (she/her): so

01:07:18.750 –> 01:07:25.289
Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know, in terms of other pieces to consider

01:07:26.210 –> 01:07:33.949
Nicole Marcia (she/her): sort of nuggets. I guess one of the pieces is like kind of the intention of a trauma, informed Yoga class. Right?

01:07:34.280 –> 01:07:46.489
Nicole Marcia (she/her): So often, I think of the intention behind a trauma informed Yoga class being quite different than what we might find in a studio setting. So I’m thinking about ideas like, how do we

01:07:46.750 –> 01:07:58.690
Nicole Marcia (she/her): have an experience of having a body? How do we cultivate more safety in our bodies? How do we understand that we have choices with what to do with our bodies?

01:07:58.970 –> 01:08:06.790
Nicole Marcia (she/her): How do we step into in a safer way as possible, a practice of noticing what’s happening in our bodies.

01:08:07.060 –> 01:08:13.509
Nicole Marcia (she/her): And how do we learn about how to use our bodies as a resource for self

01:08:13.760 –> 01:08:15.800
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and co-regulation.

01:08:15.870 –> 01:08:25.659
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Umhm. So again, some of those ideas are, what has a trauma informed Yoga class maybe be different than some of the aims of like.

01:08:27.130 –> 01:08:32.370
Nicole Marcia (she/her): I don’t know. Goat yoga, and a glass of wine, or whatever you’re doing.

01:08:33.750 –> 01:08:41.159
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m wondering if you can, because the other little voice that I’m hearing right now from yoga teachers in the Yoga verse is.

01:08:41.290 –> 01:08:43.389
Nyk Danu Yoga: Oh, yeah, but I don’t. I don’t teach

01:08:43.500 –> 01:08:56.430
Nyk Danu Yoga: like I don’t teach populations with trauma, which always cracks me up because I’m like, oh, yes, you do, dear friend, because you teach humans and of course there are. There’s different kinds of trauma.

01:08:56.660 –> 01:09:03.520
Nyk Danu Yoga: I don’t. I mean, we don’t need to break all of those down. But I you know

01:09:03.870 –> 01:09:24.769
Nyk Danu Yoga: for years. What if you would have asked me if I was teaching. Students with trauma would have said no until I had a better understanding from the training, and there there then became things that I had witnessed in class over the years before my training that I could then look back on and go. Oh, that’s what that was.

01:09:24.950 –> 01:09:32.480
Nyk Danu Yoga: I thought they just weren’t listening to me. You know I didn’t realize they were actually dissociating, you know.

01:09:32.569 –> 01:09:38.150
Nyk Danu Yoga: or I didn’t realize that when I kept saying, close your eyes to that student that like

01:09:38.630 –> 01:09:43.900
Nyk Danu Yoga: that didn’t feel safe, maybe, for that student to close their eyes, you know. So there was so many little

01:09:44.020 –> 01:09:51.250
Nyk Danu Yoga: inklings. And, believe me, teachers. When you take a good trauma training, which you know I’m going to shout Nicole out again.

01:09:51.450 –> 01:09:54.249
Nyk Danu Yoga: And Links’ll be in the bio when you take one.

01:09:54.470 –> 01:10:08.089
Nyk Danu Yoga: There’s all these little Aha’s where you’re like. Oh, and then and then, after that some situations of different things that popped up like just things like something as simple as someone laying on their back, and

01:10:08.170 –> 01:10:12.749
Nyk Danu Yoga: kind of quickly sitting up and hugging their knees, you know.

01:10:12.820 –> 01:10:19.140
Nyk Danu Yoga: Never in a million years. Would that have? Would I have had a little? Oh, okay, that could be before.

01:10:19.220 –> 01:10:30.580
Nyk Danu Yoga: And then I had one example that was quite intense, that, thank god goddess Universe. Whatever that I had taken your training because

01:10:30.710 –> 01:10:33.099
Nyk Danu Yoga: I would have been.

01:10:34.910 –> 01:10:38.539
Nyk Danu Yoga: I would have been not able to hold the brave space

01:10:39.370 –> 01:10:55.750
Nyk Danu Yoga: in that situation. Had I not known, or or at least thought that this might be what’s happening. I’ll give a very brief synapses of it. There was. It was a yin class, I all, and it was at an Ashtraga studio. So there are. I’m always I was the end to their young for a while.

01:10:56.360 –> 01:11:18.439
Nyk Danu Yoga: and I always ask people at the beginning of class when they’re just lying down and constructive rest to put one hand on their belly if they’re new to the practice again, because it is quite different. And so if I see hands, I’m gonna talk a bit more at the beginning before we move into slowly more quiet time about like, what is this practice? How is it different than moving? So that I think that people have a bit of a framework that way.

01:11:18.440 –> 01:11:32.900
Nyk Danu Yoga: and so nobody had, and so I repeated it, cause that’s unusual. So if you’ve never done any, and put one hand on your belly. So I was like, Okay, so I did do a brief review of a little bit of how yens different. And at the beginning there was one student who

01:11:33.640 –> 01:11:50.380
Nyk Danu Yoga: was just kind of what you might think of as having trouble with the stillness, because they’re in a donkey, you know, like that. At the beginning. It was like, Okay, I get it used to flowing. So you know, in swan pose or pigeon kind of circling his arm up and then bringing it down, but very kind of soft. And just. I was like, Okay.

01:11:50.740 –> 01:12:01.170
Nyk Danu Yoga: like movement happens in stillness. All good. Then at the beginning, what I thought was Ujayi breath started happening. And so I had to kind of just cue that like.

01:12:01.600 –> 01:12:16.839
Nyk Danu Yoga: I know, this is something that you know, people consistently focus on in this practice. But in again practice you can just feel free to just breathe. We’re not trying to, you know, cause it has different energetic effects. And you know. Just let yourself breathe. However, you feel right in this moment. It’s not something that you have to do.

01:12:17.050 –> 01:12:19.349
Nyk Danu Yoga: and it just kept getting stronger.

01:12:19.830 –> 01:12:45.419
Nyk Danu Yoga: So I kind of repeated that and stronger. And then I started realizing this is not Uji like I was started. It was feeling hyperventilating, ish. And I was like, okay? And then the gentle movements became things like in between poses lifting their hand and then smashing on the floor and choosing a half handstand instead of a stillness in the rest. And I was. It was getting to the point where

01:12:45.580 –> 01:12:48.990
Nyk Danu Yoga: one male student, myself, email.

01:12:49.260 –> 01:12:52.150
Nyk Danu Yoga: other female students. And I was starting to go.

01:12:53.280 –> 01:12:55.060
This is getting a bit aggressive.

01:12:55.090 –> 01:13:05.899
Nyk Danu Yoga: And you know, as the scrappy one that I am, I was like, am I gonna have to put my body between this person and like it, that that alarm bell started going off

01:13:07.150 –> 01:13:26.369
Nyk Danu Yoga: And one student at 1 point did look up with the kind of breathing and looked at me like. And I was like. you know, public yoga class breathing and farts happen like we’re gonna we’re gonna deal with this, you know. But then, when the kind of smacking of the floor happened, she went to to pack up and get up, and I just did go over to her and say, you know.

01:13:26.470 –> 01:13:36.150
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m probably gonna address this in a couple of moments if you’re okay to stay. And she said, No, no, I feel fine. I just can’t concentrate. So I’m gonna go. So she was okay. So she she wasn’t feeling

01:13:36.200 –> 01:13:42.169
Nyk Danu Yoga: triggered. It was just like annoyed. I can’t relax kind of thing with all this noise going on. So II said, Okay.

01:13:42.790 –> 01:13:43.780
Nyk Danu Yoga: and

01:13:44.660 –> 01:13:53.999
Nyk Danu Yoga: had I not had your training, I don’t think I would have had the ability to hold a brave enough space to look at this individual, and I just thought

01:13:55.610 –> 01:14:00.389
Nyk Danu Yoga: I don’t know what it was, but there was something in me that said, Just wait. just wait.

01:14:00.750 –> 01:14:05.479
Nyk Danu Yoga: So I waited for about 2 more minutes, and all of a sudden

01:14:05.590 –> 01:14:09.460
Nyk Danu Yoga: all of that stopped. and he was very still

01:14:09.640 –> 01:14:12.649
Nyk Danu Yoga: and very peaceful, and

01:14:12.760 –> 01:14:14.479
Nyk Danu Yoga: fell completely asleep

01:14:14.630 –> 01:14:16.730
Nicole Marcia (she/her): in Shavasan.

01:14:16.960 –> 01:14:24.589
Nyk Danu Yoga: And of course, as a as a teacher, had I not had that basis of kind of I don’t like the word

01:14:25.070 –> 01:14:28.449
Nyk Danu Yoga: detached because it feels cold, but like being unattached.

01:14:28.530 –> 01:14:33.589
I probably would have been trying to get all up in it and like fix the situation, and like, you know.

01:14:33.790 –> 01:14:41.830
Nyk Danu Yoga: and instead, I was able to just step back and and be curious and watch, and at the same time be aware that, like I may have to do something.

01:14:42.100 –> 01:14:56.879
Nyk Danu Yoga: And after the class, when everybody had left he, he was kind of intentionally the last one to leave. And so I just which is what I recommend like. Don’t don’t dive into this stuff. It’s not your job, but just said, How are you feeling or how you doing, you know, very casually.

01:14:56.960 –> 01:15:02.449
Nyk Danu Yoga: And he said, I feel amazing, he said. I think I had a pretty big trauma release in that class, he said.

01:15:02.620 –> 01:15:10.259
Nyk Danu Yoga: so, thank you. And I said, Yeah, I noticed that somethin was going on there, and he said, ugh! I get the clamp just thinking about it.

01:15:11.220 –> 01:15:24.170
Nyk Danu Yoga: Yeah, I watched my buddy get killed a couple days ago. and I was like. Well, no wonder. you know. And so then I did what I should do, which I know from trainings. I said.

01:15:24.540 –> 01:15:41.529
Nyk Danu Yoga: Do you have support with that? Do you have? Do you have a counselor that you can see. Do you have a friend? That you can, you know, is there is there somewhere that I can recommend? And he said, No, no, I’ve got a counsellor. I’m good. I’ve got an appointment. I’m going to go see a buddy right now, and like I’m good. But I just felt like I really needed that. And I was like.

01:15:41.550 –> 01:15:43.490
Nyk Danu Yoga: Wow, so

01:15:44.160 –> 01:15:55.080
Nyk Danu Yoga: nothing prepares you for that. So when, dear teacher, the reason I share this story is because you might think you don’t teach dramatized people. But guess what? They’re everywhere.

01:15:55.120 –> 01:15:57.340
Nicole Marcia (she/her): We all have trauma.

01:15:58.320 –> 01:16:03.830
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Yeah, yeah, thank you for sharing that story. and

01:16:04.980 –> 01:16:15.980
Nicole Marcia (she/her): but yeah, I mean, usually, what I say to people in trainings is like, you might decide not to put yourself out there as someone who specifically works with this population. Yeah.

01:16:16.010 –> 01:16:17.270
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and that’s cool.

01:16:17.880 –> 01:16:21.580
Nicole Marcia (she/her): But you can make your classes

01:16:22.770 –> 01:16:31.249
Nicole Marcia (she/her): safer braver spaces for your students by bringing in some of these pieces. If they resonate for you

01:16:31.560 –> 01:16:35.230
Nicole Marcia (she/her): and some people do that, and and some people don’t. But

01:16:35.310 –> 01:16:51.820
Nicole Marcia (she/her): I don’t. Again. I don’t think that you need to be committed to just working with people who identify themselves as trauma survivors, or people who are currently experiencing trauma in order to create trauma-informed Yoga spaces.

01:16:52.410 –> 01:17:06.099
Nyk Danu Yoga: Well said, and I could not agree more. and I would say that. allowing myself the time to. because I wasn’t planning on working in specific populations, as you mentioned, but I was also very aware that, like

01:17:06.330 –> 01:17:18.099
Nyk Danu Yoga: humanity, is traumatized and having the time and the space to slowly introduce these things in ways that made sense for me so that they became just automatic. Because that takes time.

01:17:18.310 –> 01:17:24.569
Nyk Danu Yoga: Invitational language is not something you’re gonna hear and wake up the next day. And all of a sudden you’re fluent in it like this takes conscious

01:17:24.980 –> 01:17:29.709
slowing down and choosing and being like you said, mindful

01:17:30.230 –> 01:17:31.680
Nyk Danu Yoga: noticing when you

01:17:32.240 –> 01:17:42.749
Nyk Danu Yoga: didn’t do it and go up. Hmm, there, we did that. Okay, and having that time to do that, allowed me. Then, when an opportunity literally fell in my lap.

01:17:42.920 –> 01:17:53.920
Nyk Danu Yoga: so I do. One private class for island mental health. And these are, it’s outpatient. They all have coaches, and like, there’s a lot of programs through this organization showed up to grow

01:17:54.330 –> 01:18:06.909
Nyk Danu Yoga: where they have. You know, they get chigong and art classes and cookie classes, and so I’m but one of the many Smorgasborg of awesomeness that the participants get to move through in their time in this program. And

01:18:08.060 –> 01:18:11.110
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, initially, I actually said no

01:18:11.480 –> 01:18:18.259
Nyk Danu Yoga: to this class. And then, 6 months later it fell in my lap again. and I think the reason was because.

01:18:18.280 –> 01:18:23.469
Nyk Danu Yoga: as you mentioned, I was like, I’m not looking necessarily to work with

01:18:23.750 –> 01:18:26.970
Nyk Danu Yoga: a population where this is going to be my focal point.

01:18:27.660 –> 01:18:43.829
Nyk Danu Yoga: But what became clear after discussing it with them a bit more was that first of all. They’re they’re outpatient, you know. They’ve all got coaches. They’ve got therapists they’re working with. This is. There’s a grow coach at the class like with me. So that cleared up a lot of it. And then, also knowing that

01:18:44.810 –> 01:18:55.569
Nyk Danu Yoga: it basically. all I’m all I’m doing is is it’s very similar to all the other classes I’m doing. The only difference is, I don’t own. At the end we do a shared breath.

01:18:55.830 –> 01:19:00.139
Nyk Danu Yoga: I include Yoga Nidra, which I was

01:19:00.170 –> 01:19:22.419
Nyk Danu Yoga: a little leery about, but I did a body scan just once, because I happened to just finish early and unanimously. The participants loved it so much that they were like, can we do that thing again, can we? And so I was like, Okay, I wasn’t really sure that this was trauma informed enough for this class. But here we go. And it’s been one of the most beautiful classes that that I teach every week.

01:19:22.920 –> 01:19:35.880
Nyk Danu Yoga: it’s so. I’m so glad that at least the second time they dropped it in my lap, I said, Okay, let’s at least talk about it. Just kept coming up. I was like, oh, I think also, in the beginning they were a bit vague when they said recovery!

01:19:35.940 –> 01:19:48.449
Nyk Danu Yoga: It was like, What does that mean? You know? Like III assume substance recovery. But then it, you know, and we have a multitude of different mental health things that they’re dealing with. And so it’s been a challenge that

01:19:48.660 –> 01:19:56.910
Nyk Danu Yoga: that I only felt ready to start to take on because I had done the training with you, and because I had had those couple of years

01:19:56.920 –> 01:20:05.559
Nyk Danu Yoga: afterwards to really kind of start to put these things into play in my classes, so that they were just automatic, like, I no longer had to think about

01:20:05.640 –> 01:20:08.089
Nyk Danu Yoga: saying when I was getting off the mat, or

01:20:08.240 –> 01:20:20.349
Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know, they just became part of how I taught all my classes, and so it was so much easier to say, Okay, I can take on this next level of challenge, because I’ve kind of got this foundation. Now, yeah, yeah.

01:20:20.780 –> 01:20:26.870
Nicole Marcia (she/her): beautiful. Yeah. I mean, it’s it’s not everybody’s

01:20:27.480 –> 01:20:42.319
Nicole Marcia (she/her): cup of tea, you know. It’s not where everybody wants to find themselves as a teacher. But I think that there’s a lot of therapeutic benefit, and if it’s the kind of teaching that you enjoy

01:20:42.610 –> 01:20:49.560
Nicole Marcia (she/her): it can be incredibly fulfilling, and it can really expand.

01:20:49.920 –> 01:20:54.750
Nicole Marcia (she/her): You know you as a human being and as a teacher, to be a service

01:20:54.840 –> 01:21:02.120
Nyk Danu Yoga: in that way, and I think at a point for me, because I had been, I mean, I’d been teaching. It’s almost 20 years now. Good grief.

01:21:02.250 –> 01:21:12.099
Nyk Danu Yoga: I need to keep expanding and challenging myself as a teacher, so that things don’t get kind of wrote and automatic, and

01:21:12.140 –> 01:21:19.140
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, and and and I would get bored frankly if if everything stayed the same. Yeah.

01:21:19.540 –> 01:21:21.819
Nyk Danu Yoga: So you recently finished

01:21:21.830 –> 01:21:23.370
Nyk Danu Yoga: your degree in counseling.

01:21:24.290 –> 01:21:30.709
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Yes, I did. Yeah. Just coming out of a 3 year program. And

01:21:30.950 –> 01:21:35.410
Nicole Marcia (she/her): seen clients have been seen clients since April.

01:21:36.630 –> 01:21:44.559
Nyk Danu Yoga: So now you get to combine those together in which is so beautiful that you can.

01:21:44.860 –> 01:21:50.880
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, offer yoga therapy and talk therapy together. I just think

01:21:51.340 –> 01:21:53.659
Nyk Danu Yoga: like what a match made in

01:21:54.080 –> 01:21:55.590
Nicole Marcia (she/her): heaven. Really?

01:21:55.870 –> 01:22:06.909
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Yeah, yeah, it’s been. It’s been very rich, I mean, I feel like I’m still very much in the inquiry of of where those 2 intersect and

01:22:07.130 –> 01:22:14.869
Nicole Marcia (she/her): But that’s okay. You know I can be curious about that, and and keep exploring that with my clients and

01:22:16.380 –> 01:22:20.490
Nicole Marcia (she/her): finding a combination that works for them.

01:22:20.560 –> 01:22:24.299
Nicole Marcia (she/her): it’ll evolve. Yeah. yeah, I think so.

01:22:24.480 –> 01:22:38.360
Nyk Danu Yoga: Well, I’m looking at the time. And I’m thinking maybe we might want to slowly begin to wrap this up. I’ll I have a few little questions that I like to ask at the end of a, podcast some are light. Some are more soulful.

01:22:38.650 –> 01:22:41.780
Nyk Danu Yoga: First one is coffee or tea.

01:22:43.500 –> 01:22:47.649
Nicole Marcia (she/her): one very strong cup of coffee in the morning.

01:22:47.690 –> 01:22:49.460
Nicole Marcia (she/her): no messing around

01:22:50.180 –> 01:22:55.659
Nicole Marcia (she/her): tea after that, to avoid anxiety. I am with you on that one. Yes.

01:22:55.860 –> 01:22:59.610
Nicole Marcia (she/her): coffee at select times for specific purposes. Yes, yes.

01:22:59.820 –> 01:23:02.459
Nyk Danu Yoga: favorite ice cream flavor.

01:23:02.960 –> 01:23:06.140
Nyk Danu Yoga: whether it’s vegan or not. Oh, yum.

01:23:07.610 –> 01:23:11.349
Nyk Danu Yoga: one thing. People often get wrong about me.

01:23:20.750 –> 01:23:24.070
Nicole Marcia (she/her): One thing people often get wrong about me.

01:23:25.510 –> 01:23:29.890
Nyk Danu Yoga: Yeah, like an assumption that you hear people say sometimes. Oh, I never would have realized that you were.

01:23:30.470 –> 01:23:36.010
Nicole Marcia (she/her): They probably overestimate my confidence, my self confidence. How’s that?

01:23:36.270 –> 01:23:41.250
Nyk Danu Yoga: I could see that? Actually, yeah, you are you. Do you do come off that very confident. So

01:23:42.340 –> 01:23:47.970
Nyk Danu Yoga: a pop culture, vice

01:23:50.460 –> 01:23:52.360
Nicole Marcia (she/her): people, magazine

01:23:54.340 –> 01:23:56.360
Nicole Marcia (she/her): celebrity section.

01:23:56.510 –> 01:24:01.209
Nyk Danu Yoga: Oh, my goodness, hilarious! I love this question because you really like

01:24:01.370 –> 01:24:09.419
Nyk Danu Yoga: they’re they’re always so surprising. Like, always. finish this sentence when I’m not practicing. Yoga, I am

01:24:15.190 –> 01:24:17.529
Nicole Marcia (she/her): hanging out with my partner.

01:24:18.550 –> 01:24:20.459
Nicole Marcia (she/her): not relaxing. Yeah.

01:24:21.410 –> 01:24:22.110
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Yeah.

01:24:22.390 –> 01:24:24.330
Nyk Danu Yoga: One weird fact about you

01:24:26.550 –> 01:24:28.099
Nyk Danu Yoga: other than people. Magazine.

01:24:30.710 –> 01:24:32.539
Nicole Marcia (she/her): 90 day fiance.

01:24:32.600 –> 01:24:37.240
Nyk Danu Yoga: Oh, okay, that will do

01:24:38.350 –> 01:24:42.370
Nyk Danu Yoga: one thing. I wish people knew about yoga.

01:24:47.230 –> 01:24:54.920
Nicole Marcia (she/her): something about accessibility.

01:24:55.380 –> 01:25:06.950
Nicole Marcia (she/her): you know. II think that there’s a lot of ways that yoga sort of put forward in settler culture that makes it look not particularly appealing or accessible.

01:25:08.190 –> 01:25:18.400
Nicole Marcia (she/her): And I’d like people to know that. You know, there are various places where one can land and find community and safer embodiment. And

01:25:18.960 –> 01:25:20.100
Nicole Marcia (she/her): yeah, yeah.

01:25:20.940 –> 01:25:27.749
Nicole Marcia (she/her): I think that’s the big next shift that has to happen in Yoga for sure. It’s starting too slowly.

01:25:27.880 –> 01:25:36.600
Nyk Danu Yoga: Of course, I’m gonna put the links to all your things in the show notes. And you do still offer

01:25:36.690 –> 01:25:39.750
Nyk Danu Yoga: trauma trainings for teachers.

01:25:40.090 –> 01:26:06.060
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Yeah, I have one coming up at Anya Yoga in Victoria, and early January 2024. This might not go out before that one, but I’ll put the link there so that they can check out the next round, and also to your website. And all the things teach those regularly. And then I have another one coming up in Vancouver in February with whole body paradigm

01:26:06.190 –> 01:26:20.849
Nyk Danu Yoga: is that in person or online, or both, it’s a hybrid. Okay? So people could join that one great well, yeah, it’s maybe Friday night is online. And then the weekend is in person. I mean hybrid that way. Okay, gotcha gotcha.

01:26:21.720 –> 01:26:26.619
Nyk Danu Yoga: And then the last question is, I guess. Is there anything else that I forgot to ask you

01:26:26.910 –> 01:26:30.639
Nicole Marcia (she/her): that you feel is missing, that you’d like to add.

01:26:31.020 –> 01:26:38.489
Nicole Marcia (she/her): I can’t think of anything. Okay, no. I really appreciated the conversation. I did, too. I really think.

01:26:38.650 –> 01:26:40.220
Nyk Danu Yoga: this is going to be helpful

01:26:40.500 –> 01:26:56.470
Nyk Danu Yoga: for a lot of teachers out there that are like, wait, trauma! What? Huh? It’s a good. It’s a good toe dip, and II truly believe anybody even like you said, even if you don’t want to specialize in certain populations. Every teacher should have at least a basic

01:26:56.670 –> 01:26:59.390
Nyk Danu Yoga: trauma training to just be able to

01:26:59.410 –> 01:27:03.370
Nyk Danu Yoga: adjust a few things, and also so that

01:27:04.370 –> 01:27:12.080
Nyk Danu Yoga: as a teacher, you have the confidence. if things come up that are confusing to you to be like, oh.

01:27:12.470 –> 01:27:14.160
Nyk Danu Yoga: this might be what this is.

01:27:14.390 –> 01:27:22.350
Nyk Danu Yoga: Yeah, yeah, I think these trainings provide people both with a lot of professional insight and some personal insight.

01:27:22.500 –> 01:27:28.309
Nicole Marcia (she/her): as I experienced as well, and and so they can be very rich in both domains.

01:27:29.450 –> 01:27:40.929
Nyk Danu Yoga: Well, Nicole will say our proper good byes as soon as I stop recording, but thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. This is gonna be, I know, a a very well listened to episode.

01:27:41.040 –> 01:27:45.990
Nicole Marcia (she/her): Well, it’s been a real honor and a pleasure. So thank you for having me. Thank you.


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  1. Unearthing Trauma - Yin Yoga for Release and Resilience with Janis Isaman | Teachers - Nyk Danu Yoga
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    […] In part two Nicole Marcia and I talked about the definition of Trauma Sensitive Yoga and how we Can make Yin Yoga Trauma-informed. […]

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