View this email in your browser

May 2013 Newsletter

Greetings! I'm Nicole Emily Marcia, founder and director of Fine Balance Yoga. My colleagues and I teach therapeutic yoga classes and offer individual sessions to trauma survivors struggling with issues including addiction, depression and anxiety, and chronic pain. We teach healthy self-regulation strategies designed to empower individuals to live connected and embodied lives. We also train yoga teachers and healthcare clinicians in trauma-informed yoga theory and techniques which support trauma survivors in their healing, long-term stability and recovery.

Women's Trauma Sensitive Yoga Classes

8 Tuesday evenings from 6:30pm – 7:45pm, June 4th – July 23rd, 2013
At Langara College at 601 West Broadway. Cost: $200
$50.00 deposit required by May 27th, 2013 to secure your space in class
For enquiries or to reserve your spot: or
604 725 7287

Yoga Outreach Annual Retreat ~ May 24, 25, 26, 2013

Join Yoga Outreach for a weekend long retreat at the Cheakamus River
From Isolation to Reconnection: Trauma Sensitive Teaching
with Nicole Marcia, MA, ERYT 500
Sunday May 26 ~ 11:30 – 1:00
In keeping with this year’s theme of connection, we will be exploring the impact of trauma
and how we, as yoga teachers, can create a safe space for our students to move from isolation to connection.

Introduction to Trauma Sensitive Yoga
Workshop – Brighton, UK

Join yoga therapist Sarah Holmes de Castro in Brighton, UK on May 31st.
We will explore healthy self-regulation strategies and the use of breath and body sensations to connect safely to the present moment. This workshop is open to yoga teachers, clinicians and healthcare practitioners interested in learning more about an evidence-based approach to Trauma Sensitive Yoga. 

May 31, 6-9 pm at St. Michael's Community Hall, St. Michael's Place, Brighton (a short walk from Brighton railway station)
Cost: £32.00 

Yoga Outreach 20 Hour Core Training June 7th – 9th

Yoga Outreach has developed a 20 hour Core Teacher’s Training that will empower you to
work with students confronting a wide range of challenges within diverse settings.
The training includes in-depth explorations of trauma-sensitive teaching techniques and
strengths-based practice.
Tuition: Before May 1st ~ $299 * After May1st ~ $360*
Work-study options are available; please email for an
application form.
To Register:

Trauma Sensitive Yoga Therapy Training
at Sanga Yoga Studio

June 29th, 2013 1:00 – 5:00
Cost: $80.00 (+GST) 
Many people choose yoga to help cope with personal trauma. There is a hidden list of injuries that never shows up on the waiver that student’s sign before your class that includes anxiety, depression, addiction and eating disorders. This is “the new normal” for teaching, and we would do well to equip ourselves so that we can approach our trauma sensitive students with respect and the tools to understand them better.
Email for inquiries or to reserve your spot.

Langara College Continuing Studies Presents:

An Integrated Approach to Yoga Therapy for Trauma

July 19th – 21st
$469 (special summer discount:
register before July 1 and save $117)
Register today: 604-323-5322
Topics in this comprehensive training course include: issues of addiction, depression,
anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and the role of the Yoga Therapist in working effectively and compassionately with this population.
Receive a Langara Certificate of Completion. Hours can be used towards advanced certification. Course is open to yoga teachers and health care practitioners.

Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teachers Training

Yoga teachers are seeing a growing number of students in their classes who have
been referred by their healthcare providers in order to address the aftermath of traumatic
experiences including PTSD, addiction and other mental health conditions. They are
uniquely positioned to support their students’ need for safe classes that teach them
healthy, body-based self-regulation strategies. In this training, yoga teachers will learn how
to build a trauma sensitive yoga class that meets the needs of a wide variety of students.
Cost: $56.25 (incl. GST)
When: Saturday July 27th, 2013 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Where: Open Door Yoga 245 - 1651 Commercial Dr.
To Register: or call 778.371.8179

Yoga for Trauma Survivors

Traumatic events often result in isolation and feelings of helplessness. Traumatic stressors
can cause symptoms including, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety and depression. Yoga can
help trauma survivors by introducing body based coping strategies, and helping them to
use their breath and body sensations to connect to the present moment.
Cost: $56.25 (incl. GST)
When: Saturday August 24th, 2013 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Where: Open Door Yoga 245 - 1651 Commercial Dr.
To Register: or call 778.371.8179



The philosophy of yoga is holistic at its very core and describes humans as being comprised of five aspects that are intrinsically linked and make up the whole person. These five aspects of being are called koshas in Sanskrit, the ancient language of yoga. Kosha can be translated as ‘sheath’, with the implication that they are coverings that are layered over a deeper aspect of self. These layers range from the dense physical body to the more subtle levels of emotions, mind and spirit. Trauma affects us at each of these levels of being. Through the model of the koshas we can consider the ways in which the traumatized individual experiences disconnection from their deepest nature, which in yogic philosophy is considered to be perfect and whole.
These five aspects of being or koshas include the physical or annamaya kosha, the energetic or pranamaya kosha, the psycho-emotional and sensory awareness or manomaya kosha, the discriminating intellect (the level at which deep core beliefs are held), the vijnanamaya kosha (often called the ‘wisdom’ body) and the spiritual or anandamaya kosha. One of the defining characteristics of trauma is the presence of disconnection:
“In short, trauma is about loss of connection – to ourselves, to our bodies, to our families, to others, and to the world around us” (Levine, P. (2008). Healing Trauma: a Pioneering program for restoring the wisdom of your body).
Disconnection at the level of the koshas as a result of trauma may occur in many ways, including:
  • Annamaya kosha or physical body – trauma survivors often experience muscular tension, headaches and digestive issues
  • Pranamaya kosha or energetic body – the nervous and respiratory systems are strongly impacted by trauma with dysregulation occurring in both (e.g., shallow breathing, hyper-vigilance)
  • Manomaya kosha or psycho-emotional-sensory body – various types of emotional distress may occur including anxiety or depression Vijnanamaya kosha or wisdom body – the capacity for calm reflection may be diminished by the intrusive thoughts often experienced by trauma survivors
  • Anandamaya kosha or bliss body – Diminished feelings of happiness and bliss as well as a loss of meaning or connection to community may be experienced.
From the kosha perspective, yoga helps us bring body, breath, mind, wisdom, and spirit into harmony. The word yoga is often translated as ‘union’, or ‘to connect’. The practices of yoga are designed to bring about an integration of all aspects of a person in their fullness and wholeness. Within a trauma sensitive yoga class we are invited to consider our physical body, our breath, our state of mind and to open to the possibility of a mindful, non-judgmental, compassionate awareness. From this place of compassionate awareness we can begin to bring healing to each level of our being so as to uncover that state of ‘yoga’ or deep connection that is always present as potential within.
SarahSarah Holmes de Castro, MA, RYT 200 has been conducting yoga classes with a therapeutic focus since 2003 at various locations including the BC College of Psychologists, Vancouver Coastal Health Mental Health Teams and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Health Collective. She is the coordinator (currently on maternity leave) at Vancouver-based charity Yoga Outreach, where she facilitates over 20 yoga programs in a wide variety of venues with clients living with mental health and addiction issues and the impacts of trauma. Sarah has successfully completed the Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher training at the Trauma Center, Boston, MA and is currently completing a 1000-hour certification as a Yoga Therapist with Integrative Yoga Therapy. Find out more about Sarah and book a private session with her.
Forward to Friend
Visit our website at for further information about any of the above events, to book individual sessions, community classes, to book a workshop for trauma survivors or a training for clinicians and/or yoga teachers.
Copyright © 2013 Fine Balance Yoga, All rights reserved.