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9/14/23 Live Session Recording

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9/14/23 Live Session Recording

As you are able to review the recording, please offer your reflection on the discussion of Tapas. Please also offer the movements you would share as part of half a trauma-informed yoga sequence. Please offer the half of the sequence here that you did not offer on 9/7/23. Consider sharing any thoughts or input you may have related to the additional conversation on trauma-yoga at the end of the recording.

Tapas Slide Deck


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I'm sorry to have missed this session - it was a great discussion, particularly at the end where the group delved into how to offer relaxation for various individuals who might not be able to take a traditional savasana. Still being able to bring the mindfulness and relaxation in in the way that works for the setting and individuals is key.

On tapas and discipline, I used to only view discipline in a negative light - being disciplined as a child and needing to fall in line. As I've grown in yoga and mindfulness over the years, and through the digging in in this YTT, I've been able to grow to accept and appreciate that self-discipline is important for me and my growth and is such a positive aspect. I'm disciplined in my exercise and yoga practice because it offers me a positive outcome long after the practice ends. The discipline to prioritize my needs at times and know that I need to first fill my own cup benefits me, my family, and my community, and I can see the positive aspects. Being able to reframe a word that long had negative connotations is healing.

Last week I was in a group that created the first half of a yoga sequence, so for the second half, I would offer the following:

Strength & mobility: small squats into chair pose; gentle lunges into Warrior I and II; side angle &  reverse warrior; Goddess

Concentration & focus: tree pose; Pyramid pose; chair to eagle; mountain with heels elevated

Integration & relaxation: Staff pose, seated twists, supine twist

Closing breathwork: seated meditation

Jen reacted
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Tapas for me is doing what is healthy for me.  To know how far I've come in my journey of life.  Staying assertive to communicate my needs to others.  Taking time for myself to reflect and recover.  Knowing that there is a time and a place for everything.  Knowing when to let go of things that no longer serve a positive purpose for my life.  Mindful awareness of compassion and empathy towards others.

For the first half of the trauma-informed sequencing,  I will welcome and check in with participants.  Beginning the class seated in a chair or on the floor.  For energetic release offering a powered thoracic inhalation and move through to dynamic warmup.  Gentle movement of the spine stretching the left arm up overhead as high as it is comfortable while stretching the whole side body.  Now the same on the right side....left to right 3 times.  Now trunk circles counter clockwise and clockwise.  Range of motion for the wrists, ankles, shoulders, and elbows.  I will now introduce today's theme for the beginning of the centering practice. I will suggest to participants to acknowledge and honor today's body.  Mindfulness of caring for the body and mind with healing gentle movement.  I will offer a facial drainage and immune boost self lymphatic massage.  Starting from the forehead, eyebrows, cheek bones (top and bottom), jaw line, down the neck to the decollete', collar bones, and sternum tap while brushing outward from the chest lighty toward the heart.

Jen reacted
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I loved the discussion of Tapas and really resonated with much of what was said by the group. The concept of discipline, coming from a very severe military family, has always carried a punitive connotation. Discipline is what others do to force you into things that you don't want to do. Self-discipline similarly has felt like forcing myself into doing things that I don't want to do. I'm interested in shifting this paradigm, and framing discipline as creating the space and support for doing what I *do* want to do and for what is best for me. Discipline is setting myself up so that getting to the gym is easeful and welcome, rather than self-torment. Discipline is learning to regulate my emotional space that that when I'm in conflict, I have the capacity to respond with grace. Discipline is setting up my work day so that I can be easeful and focused, rather than obsessively self-monitoring and self-castigating. Discipline is creating ease, rather than struggle. If I can offer that to myself, I can offer it to others.



Strength & mobility: steps back into Warrior 1 with arm variations and spinal rotations, extend into Warrior 2, goddess pose with breath of fire, wide legged forward fold, 

Concentration & focus: Half moon (Starting demonstration with chair modifications), twisted triangle

Integration & relaxation: Cow face legs, seated spinal twists

Closing: 4-5-6 breathing, savasana, gratitude!

Jen reacted
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I found myself very connect and interested in the topics in the lecture of tapas. 

One of the questions posed was "what is discipline to me?". I began ballet at the age of 4 so I believe positive discipline has been present in my life, however it was not until I was older that I began to even think of discipline being a positive thing. I was a very anxious child, a teacher's daughter, and excelled in academics. I believe I put a lot of pressure on myself because it was what I learned. The discipline I developed came from this discipline I had in dance, expectations set on me by my family, and my observations of those around me growing up. When viewing the video, I was very drawn to the conversation on being an activist and the discipline in this. The idea of "how can I feel joy when others are suffering" and that I always need to be doing something struck me deeply. I feel for a very long time my discipline has been to please those around me as that is what I have been socialized to do as a woman in society. It was not until working in the forensic field that I began to learn to make strong boundaries with patients that have flowed over into other areas in my life. There have been times that I have been traumatized at work and times that I wanted to quit, but my discipline allowed me to keep showing up. At this time is when I began to develop the discipline discussed in caring for myself in order to care for others. 

I am very appreciative of the conversations regarding discipline in caring for ourselves. I resonated greatly with this previous idea of focusing on the self was selfish and how that has had to transform. I also loved the reminder of saying no and being able to say yes as long as you are not saying no to yourself. Sustainability in this line of work is necessary and vital. I am going to hold the statement "I choose what is sustainable to me at this time" with me as I continue on throughout my day.

I was also very engaged in the conversation of blaming others and pointing fingers at those who we do not believe work as hard as us and how this relates to discipline. This is something I have done and still do that causes me burnout. Looking at it with tapas in mind allows me to view it from a different angle. I have my own discipline and I cannot assume others are not putting their best intentions into the work. I can believe others are doing the best they can too. 

The conversation regarding relaxation at the end of yoga sequencing was one of the most interesting parts of the discussion for me. Working in forensics, I agree that it is not always safe to integrate touch, silence, or complete relaxation. Every time I provide a mindfulness or meditation practice, I state, "You are welcome to close your eyes if comfortable or to have a soft gaze. I will have my eyes open to ensure the safety of the room". Many of my patients have been attacked, experience trauma, and are not fully safe in their environment from those around or from symptoms of their mental illness. I once was speaking with a colleague and told her that I feel many people would not return to the unit as incompetent to stand trial if we did more trauma work to which she responded that it was not really safe to do that since they would go back to jail and cannot have their guards completely down. I did not understand at first, but this is something I think about frequently now. My patients have experienced trauma in their life and are in the middle of a traumatic experience as well. There can be trauma work done, but not processing the trauma narrative. My patients can learn to regulate their systems and understand their responses but may not be in a safe enough space to fully go into their trauma narratives. Being aware that there is trauma being inflicted daily to my patients really impacts how I run groups and interact with them as well. The focus Jen put on communication on when silence or more triggering changes may occur was a great reminder for me as well. I continue to think of the guiding principles of trauma informed care and try to bring this to my yoga group and daily interactions (Safety; Trustworthiness and transparency; Peer support and mutual self-help; Collaboration and mutuality; Empowerment, voice, and choice; Cultural, historical, and gender issues)

In the previous week I worked on the mobility and strength portion of sequencing so here are some ideas for part 1 of sequencing:


Stomping, clapping, shaking out body parts.

Give self massage to bring awareness to boundaries of the body, the body in space, and allow for pressure.

Shifting weight, moving right to left and forward and back

Dynamic Warm Up:

Seated cat cow, overhead reaching side to side, twisting spine to the back, spinal flexion (move spine on all planes of movement)

Invite circles into body; shoulders, knees, hips, ankles, neck, wrists

Look side to side and up and down

Protract and retract scapula

Kick butt and high knees to get blood flowing and bring heat to legs


Sitting or standing bringing a hand to heart and belly and notice breath

Bringing hands crossed at thumbs to clavicle area with palms touching body, breathe and engage in butterfly tapping (bilateral stimulation by tapping one hand than the other in a rhymical fashion)

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The thought that comes to me with discipline is internal judgment, along with feelings of shame.  It brings to mind the idea of someone telling me all the reasons that I don’t measure up and the reasons I don’t deserve recognition for my work or the achievement of my goals.  I think my  family thought I did not have much discipline.  In some ways, this feeling seems similar to some Christian ideals of always falling short of perfection in humanness. I find the idea of being hit with a belt or with anything very triggering, recalling ideas of injustice and shame.  To think of discipline as saying no to things that do not serve you is a different interpretation of discipline that may serve me better.  I have a harsh inner critic that probably hinders me more than anything else.  Removing ideas of discipline that include forcing oneself to try and measure up without rest or self-care opens more possibilities for self-care.  I like the idea of discipline associated with self-care because, at this point in my life, it is very difficult for me to make time, and it takes some mental strength to bring this idea to life in my mind and heart.  I am working to find more balance and self-care in my life.