What is trauma-informed practice?

my core belief

[Caption: an image with a quilted border and a piece of paper with the quote, “My core belief: in order to be ‘trauma-informed,’ yoga must include analysis and reflection around structural oppression.”]

Some of us might think this is obvious, but I can say from both recent and distant experience, that this is NOT a universal value.

Given that the history of yoga — and this country, and really most systems — is fraught with issues of colonization and co-optation, appropriation and assimilation, power and privilege…I firmly believe that to authentically and transparently offer “trauma-informed” or “trauma-sensitive” yoga, we must include some attention to the larger and varied contexts in which this work is happening.

And we must be willing to name that those contexts include genocide, annihilation, assimilation, and oppression – both historically AND in the present.

I am still working out all my thoughts on this, but for now I wanted to share this idea. The reality is this: there is not only a yoga-industrial complex, there is also a trauma-industrial complex. (I do hope that the idea of a “_____-industrial complex” is not a new one for you. But if so, look up what Eisenhower had to say about the military back in the early 60s, and what INCITE has to say more recently about the non-profit version.)

Yes, there are people making loads of money not only off of yoga but off of the idea and reality of trauma. Not everyone who is moving in these worlds is willing or able to face the reality that the conditions which propagate trauma are not incidental but utterly intentional. Trauma is more than a car accident or a “natural disaster.” The trauma of poverty and neglect, the trauma of racism and ableism, of Islamophobia and transphobia, these are but a few of the long litany of realities which cause, catalyze, and compound trauma.

From one trauma steward to another: if you are looking to offer yourself in the role of a trauma steward, you have a responsibility to do your work to acknowledge and grapple with this. And for those of us seeking learning and leadership around these issues, let us be vigilant in who we give our time, money and resources to.

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New Class: Blast It Out!

LiberationHealingArts.com5_45 - 7_

Blast It Out!

Fourth Wednesdays* – Add it to your calendar
7:30 – 9:00pm
Health Associates in Durham, 906 Broad St
As always: Donation-based and InQlusive

This just in!

I’m adding a monthly intermediate-level class to my roster. This is ideal for folks who want a playful, supportive space in which to explore some more challenging aspects of practice.

We’ll attend to alignment of the body heart and mind. We’ll play with stamina and resilience. We’ll dig deeper into some of the more elusive poses and support the journey through pranayama (breathwork) and sankalpa (wholehearted intention). “Practice class” means that I’ll be doing the yoga with you. Join me!

If you’re not sure whether this class is for you, why not try it out and see? We’ll still have a warm, welcoming, and friendly vibe going. You can still/always pause and chill and rest and modify. The main difference is that this class will be a bit longer (90 minutes) and will have a baseline more challenging amount and level of poses.
Let me know if you have questions!

Upcoming Blast It Out! Classes
April 25
May 23
June 27 – Full Moon Edition!

blast it out

Past dates
January 31
February 28
March 28


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Snowga Virtual Yoga Class

Wednesday January 17 from 6-7:15 Eastern.

Join now.

virtual yoga class.pngFor the first time (and hopefully not the last), I’m offering a virtual yoga class.

It’s been snowing all day here in Durham, and I’m afraid I cannot host my regularly weekly Yoga for Queers and Misfits / InQlusive Yoga class. So I’ve decided to offer this opportunity for folks to join remotely.

How it works

Hop on over to my Square store to buy a class, for $5, 7, 10, or 15. After you check out, I’ll send you a link to join over Zoom. That’s it! You can join with just audio or from your computer/with video. It’s experimental, but let’s see how it goes.

Join now.

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New Fall Series

IMG_5542The winds of change are settling in. Just when we got acclimated to the heat of summer, fall arises to remind us of the constancy of impermanence.

The transition to fall doesn’t have to be jarring, disruptive, or depressing.  If we learn to work with the seasonal shifts, we can welcome and even relish the opportunities that fall provides to slow down, turn in, and get grounded.

Instead of resisting fall or stumbling through, with the help of yoga and Ayurveda, we can Fall with Grace.

Fall with Grace

Skillfully navigate the transition to Fall by embracing the seasonal invitation to Slow Down, Turn In, Get Grounded

Thursdays 7:45 – 9pm at Durham Yoga
September 7 – October 26
8 Week Series $108 / Drop-in $15
*Sign up for the whole series by Monday, September 4th and receive two special offerings – a Fall Survival Kit and a specialized and detailed guide to managing your doshas.

fall grace kyt

Go here for full details.

Restorative Yoga | Ayurveda | Seasonal Support | Trauma Healing

An 8-week series combining mellow and restorative yoga, breathwork, and the wisdom of Ayurveda to support your seasonal transition and overall health.

Go here for complete details.


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Engaging With and Dismantling Hate: For White Folks


Inspired by the example above from Dr. Nayeli Chavez-Dueñas @NYChavez and Dr. Hector Y. Adames @HYAdames [Twitter handles], I offer a version for white folks. Love and struggle.

Engaging and Dismantling HateEngaging With and Dismantling Hate



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Embodied Grief Space

embodied grief space

Three people are dead, dozens more injured, and many of us are reeling from the events in #Charlottesville yesterday.  Yesterday’s violence, planned and executed by white nationalists, the KKK, white supremacists, alt-right, and others, in collusion with the cops and other authorities, is confirmation of what we already know. White supremacy is alive and well in this country, in our midst, inside of the hearts and minds and homes and bodies of white folks.

What I know for sure right now: I am scared, feeling isolated, and full of emotion. In the spirit of wanting to reduce isolation, foment connection, and increase collective capacity to hold grief and move towards right action, I’m offering an embodied grief space today.

Reflecting on yesterday’s events in Virginia, Adrienne Maree Brown said, “We have to grieve and feel and strategize in motion…”

I offer this space in that spirit, and in my capacity as a therapist, healing justice worker, trauma-informed yoga teacher, queer woman, anti-oppression trainer, and white anti-racist activist who is working in accountable relationship in my community.

I do not presume that this is what everyone needs right now, but I am feeling like its part of what I need, and what I can offer. I’ve reached out to folks I’m connected with here in community – both People of Color leaders and healers, as well as other white folks committed to the multi-racial work of ending white supremacy and racism – and the folks I’ve connected with are offering their support and encouragement to move forward with this space, though many are already committed to and present in their own spaces and formations.

This space will include:

  • reflection
  • gentle movement to connect with the body and move energy and emotion
  • opportunity for pair or small group sharing/listening (solo work is an option too)
  • invitation to commit to further action.


Sunday, August 13, 1-2:30pm <<TODAY>>
Durham Yoga Company, 502 Rigsbee, 2nd Floor (This space has an elevator)
Free/By donation – Proceeds will go to Charlottesville Medical Fund and to SONG’s Black August Bailout Action.

Bring with you:

  • A notebook/journal/paper and pen
  • Comfortable clothes for movement
  • Cash/card if you want to donate – no requirement to do so
  • Open heart and mind, willingness to be transformed


In love and struggle,



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Water, love, connection

Please note I no longer update this page on the regular – follow me on Instagram to get all my posts and info right away.

Yoga for Queers and Misfits
Wednesdays 5:45 – 7:05 at Health Associates in Durham
All-levels, inclusive, donation-based yoga for all.

Complete class details here.

from @nayyirah.waheed

We are in the time of Cancer. The watery depths of connectivity. As Chani Nicholas reminds us, “What is moist becomes permeable and able to join with another.” This is a time of choosing care and connection over corruption and cowardice. This is a time for loving and protecting each other, as Assata enjoins us. “Care is our greatest currency. When we invest in caring for ourselves, each other, and the world around us, the returns are invaluable,” Chani says.

This is the time to evoke the nurturing, equalizing, and expansive power of water. To make ourselves vessels of care, vehicles of connection.


Join me tonight at Yoga for Queers and Misfits as we tap into the depths of our own capacity for compassion, care, and connection.
5:45 – 7:05 at Health Associates on Broad St.

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