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RECOVERY AND WELLNESS MENTORING

There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground;

there are a thousand ways to go home again.

- Rumi

I work privately with a limited number of clients recovering from mental health challenges or compulsive behaviors/addiction. 

 

Recovery is not linear or one-size-fits-all. ​It's also not circular; we never end up where we started. That turns out to be great news, but it can also be a lonely, overwhelming, heart wrenching process. 

 

Together, we will explore the rocky, magnificent terrain of your life. I may not have been exactly where you are, but I promise that the ground is familiar and well worth treading.
 

Recovery​ from Mental Illness

Nearly everyone has heard about recovery from addiction. While recovery from mental illness is not a new concept, it isn't discussed often enough. The assumption is often that long-term recovery isn't realistic, especially for serious mental illness. That fact is that recovery is available to everyone, without exception. 

 

The beauty is that each of us gets to define our own recovery. For me, being in recovery means that I'm tending to my health, practicing self-inquiry, and feeling a sense of purpose and connection in my life. In yoga, we would call that svastha, svadhyaya, and dharma.

 

You don't need to know those words to know that all that is necessary for recovery is being open to idea idea that we all have the innate capacity to heal. There are infinitely many paths from there, and I am here to support and guide you using tools from yoga, peer mentoring, and modern science.

Recovery​ from Compulsive Behaviors

If you are new to recovery, the world may suddenly feel very unfamiliar.  Yoga will bring you back into your body by offering a method of building resilience while taming your hijacked nervous system. Yoga eases craving by tending lovingly to the pain that caused it, which is stored deeply inside of our bodies.

 

Working together, we will develop a sustainable practice to welcome you home to your Self as well a holistic plan to improve and recover your health.

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Learning to stay in your body, with all its sensations, both joyful and difficult, is the

key to lasting recovery.

Established in recovery, but feeling stuck?

 

Whether you're experiencing big life changes, set-backs in recovery, or simply feeling the longterm effects of chronic stress, it's easy to feel confused, stuck, possibly even unmoored. Setting yourself back on a path to purpose, health, and connection may feel daunting. 

Together, we will examine the terrain of your life, employ your strengths, and fortify the parts of your life that need more support. That may be as simple as optimizing health routines or as dramatic as being your ally as you make big, necessary, and often long overdue shifts in your life. In either case, our time together will lead to more freedom and joy so that can engage fully with life.

 

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The magic of recovery
is that what ails us turns out to be the
fertile ground of transformation.

My Modalities

Peer Support

The most important credential I have is my lived experience recovering from complex trauma, mental illness, and addiction. Peers bring a level of understanding and connection that is often not felt in traditional healthcare. The emphasis in my work as a peer is to support self-determination and foster a recovery mindset. I'm on the path with you. I am a certified by the State of Oregon as Peer Wellness Specialist, and bring a commitment to professional ethics and continuing education to my work with clients.

The Practice of Yoga, Broadly Defined

Yoga was positive psychology before that term existed. It is a multidimensional discipline that includes a lot more that strengthening or stretching the body.

 

Yoga, strictly translated, means "union". The physical practice unites our minds, emotions, and bodies so that we are at home with any sensation. Our emphasis will be the breath, whether in poses or meditation, so that we restore the body's ability to abide in ease and a sense of safety.

Yoga philosophy always informs my work with clients. Ultimately, our aim is to wake up to the absolute reality of our wholeness and connection. Thanks to yoga, we have thousands of years of teachers, texts, and testimonials to lead the way.

 

Yoga Nidra

Yoga nidra, or yogic sleep, is a guided meditation is done lying down that has myriad positive effects. At its most basic, yoga nidra offers deep, nurturing, complete relaxation of the entire body and mind. The system of yoga nidra that I offer includes setting resolves while in a completely open and relaxed state so that the subconscious is recruited to empower and direct us exactly in the direction we want to go.

Other Modalities

I bring knowledge and experience with intuitive eating, modern nutrition and exercise, ayurveda, positive psychology, motivational interviewing, and nonviolent communication to all my sessions. If I have a tool I think will be helpful, I will certainly offer it!

Please note: Breathwork experiences are not offered in mentoring sessions. The primary reason for that is that the two practices are very different and each deserves its own context and setting.

In addition to being a Certified Peer Wellness Specialist (PWS) and ERYT-500 yoga teacher, I am a certified Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher, Wellness Practitioner (CWP), and Breathwork Facilitator. 

The body of scientific research supporting yoga as a healing modality is growing rapidly. 

Learn more here.

  • How are recovery mentoring different than coaching or other types of therapy?
    While I do have the the qualifications for wellness coaching, my philosophical allegiance is with peer support and the long history of yoga teachers working with students 1-on-1. I start from there and integrate other modalities when they are helpful. I am not a therapist, nor do I have the qualifications to offer therapy. My goal is to guide you to discover new ways of experiencing and interacting with the world that lead to greater health in all the domains of your life. The primary vehicle we will use is yoga, broadly defined as a system of practices that lead to a quieter mind and a life filled with purpose. This is not physical therapy either. Physical therapy uses a targeted approach for a specific area of the body. Yoga works with the body as a whole, seeing physical health as inseparable from mental health. Our goal when working with the physical body will be to address root causes of suffering such as chronic stress or unhelpful movement patterns. They often go together. Integrative yoga sessions complement and support the work of other healing modalities, including western medicine.
  • I take prescriptions or use other healing modalities. What are your feelings about that?
    I take a solutions-oriented, person-first approach to well-being. I strongly believe that everyone gets to decide what bests supports their recovery and that everyone's journey is unique. Neither yoga nor recovery is one-size-fits-all. My work with you will always support your choices regarding other modalities, including western medicine. Part of what we do together is integrate all of the avenues of healing that you find useful.
  • What is the difference between the breathwork we do in yoga and breathwork experiences?
    Pranayama is the traditional yogic term for breathing practices. Most breath instruction given in yoga classes is meant to encourage a state of "rest and digest." It is generally gentle and relaxing. The style of breathwork done in experience sessions is a specific breathing technique that intentionally stimulates your nervous system for a limited period of time. It is hard work, and the effects are often dramatic and life-changing. If what you want to learn are breath practices that improve focus, relaxation, and awareness, or if you want to work on improving your default breathing patterns, then integrative yoga sessions are a better fit. If you are looking for a more intense experience to rapidly shift your perspective, clear blocks, or release stored emotions, then this style of breathwork will be a great place to start. Most of us benefit from both.
  • How intense is the altered state of consciousness that occurs during breathwork?
    The intensity of this altered state will be perceived differently by each person and at each session. The important thing to know is that you are always in control! You have not ingested a chemical or plant substance. If you feel overwhelmed at any point, you can stop the technique and return to normal breathing, which will quickly bring you back to homeostasis.
  • Is breathwork safe?
    Breathwork is a healing modality that is safe and effective for most people. Having said that, please read the list of contraindications listed below. The beauty of breathwork is that are always in control of your experience. Unlike when taking a chemical or plant substance, the effects of breathwork quickly pass simply by breathing normally. If you become overwhelmed for any reason, you can simply discontinue the technique and breathe slowly through your nose. The only two responses I have seen which may feel uncomfortable are an intense emotional release and a physical symptom called tetany. Tetany is muscular cramping, typically in the hands. It is not harmful, and it passes when the breath returns to normal. Intense emotional experiences will likely feel cathartic and necessary, but they may also feel overwhelming. Remember that you are 100% in charge. You simply return to your normal breath and your body will quickly return to homeostasis.
  • Are there contraindications for breathwork?
    Yes. Here are some commonly discussed contraindications for this type of breathwork. Please be aware that this list is not meant to be exhaustive. Please check with your doctor before participating if you have questions or concerns. Pregnancy Cardiovascular disease High blood pressure History of aneurisms (including family) Epilepsy or history of seizures History of psychosis Osteoporosis Recent surgery Glaucoma An active addiction Untreated mental illness
  • Are there contraindications for yoga?
    No! There are contraindications for particular poses, but not for the practice itself. We will address potential contraindications together based on your health history. Having particular health concerns that may affect your practice is a great reason to take private yoga classes. With guidance, yoga is a very safe practice that can be tailored to every body.
  • What is the difference between the breathwork we do in yoga and conscious, connected breathwork?
    Pranayama is the traditional yogic term for breathing practices. Most breath instruction given in yoga classes is meant to encourage a state of "rest and digest." It is generally gentle and relaxing. Conscious, connected breathwork is a specific breathing technique that intentionally stimulates your nervous system for a limited period of time. It is hard work, and the effects are often dramatic and life-changing. If what you want to learn are breath practices that improve focus, relaxation, and awareness, or if you want to work on improving your default breathing patterns, then integrative yoga sessions are a better fit. If you are looking for a more intense experience to rapidly shift your perspective, clear blocks, or release stored emotions, then conscious, connected breathwork will be a great place to start. Most of us benefit from both.
  • How intense is the altered state of consciousness that occurs during breathwork?
    The intensity of this altered state will be perceived differently by each person and at each session. The important thing to know is that you are always in control! You have not ingested a chemical or plant substance. If you feel overwhelmed at any point, you can stop the technique and return to normal breathing, which will quickly bring you back to homeostasis.
  • Is breathwork safe?
    Breathwork is a healing modality that is safe and effective for most people. It can be intense, but it's your breath and you always get to decide how to breathe! Having said that, please read the list of contraindications listed below. The beauty of breathwork is that are always in control of your experience. Unlike when taking a chemical or plant substance, the effects of breathwork quickly pass simply by breathing normally. If you become overwhelmed for any reason, you can simply discontinue the technique and breathe slowly through your nose. The only two responses I have seen which may feel uncomfortable are an intense emotional release and a physical symptom called tetany. Tetany is muscular cramping, typically in the hands. It is not harmful, and it passes when the breath returns to normal. Intense emotional experiences will likely feel cathartic and necessary, but they may also feel overwhelming. Remember that you are 100% in charge. You simply return to your normal breath and your body will quickly return to homeostasis.
  • Are there contraindications for breathwork?
    Yes. Here are some commonly discussed contraindications for this type of breathwork. Please be aware that this list is not meant to be exhaustive. Please check with your doctor before participating if you have questions or concerns. Pregnancy Cardiovascular disease High blood pressure History of aneurisms (including family) Epilepsy or history of seizures History of psychosis Osteoporosis Recent surgery Glaucoma An active addiction Untreated mental illness
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