On Saturday, July 10, 2021, Janelle Railey will be leading a workshop called "Healing Trauma: Yoga and Beyond." Before her event, we asked her a few questions to learn more about her background and focus on trauma-informed yoga.
1. How did you get started with your yoga practice?
My inspiring Aunt Susan introduced me to yoga and meditation in 1991. She taught me the basics of the Sivananda yoga method, how to work with one's mind. I followed along with her until I started to develop the awareness and confidence to practice on my own.
2. What do you enjoy doing outside of the yoga studio?
I am a full-time private practice psychotherapist which keeps me busy and engaged. I am a parent of two lively children and married to a creative, artful man. We all get busy outdoors, playing sports, and discussing literature, movies and philosophy.
3. What is your favorite aspect of yoga?
My favorite aspect of yoga is the philosophy on how to live a sane and peaceful life. I also deeply appreciate the strong focus on meditation and the sense of internal space that a practice creates.
4. What is trauma-informed yoga and how is it unique from other practices?
Trauma-informed yoga is an approach to yoga that places primary emphasis on the choice-making and empowerment of the practitioner. It emphasizes a moment to moment investigation of "how things are" rather than how they ought to be. It has less to do with external technique, positioning and outcome and more to do with the internal experience of the practitioner.
5. Why is trauma-informed yoga important and who might benefit from trying a trauma-informed yoga class?
Anyone can benefit from a trauma-informed practice. It is important as it emphasizes interoception, the restoration of an ability to self-regulate and it helps to build a sense of inner resources.
6. Do you have any advice for someone new to trauma-informed yoga, or yoga in general
I think the best advice is to approach it with a beginner’s mind (open and curious) and to keep this sense throughout the practice. In addition, yoga is about knowing oneself and ultimately trusting one’s inner authority, so even though it will be a new experience, you can trust your sense of what feels right in your own body.
Learn more about Janelle's workshop here!
Author: Suzanne Godard