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Trauma-sensitive Yoga Class

Mental Health Month kicks off, trauma-sensitive yoga class on calendar of events

Tracy Geibel, Staff Reporter

MANSFIELD – The first of two trauma-sensitive yoga classes was held Friday, May 5 at the Healing Hearts Counseling Center, 680 Park Ave. W. as part of the Richland County Mental Health month.

The Richland County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board held the annual mental health month kick-off earlier Friday morning, announcing that events like the trauma-sensitive yoga classes will take place throughout May to raise awareness.

“We are busy all month,” said Joe Trolian, MH&RS executive director.

The yoga class at the Healing Hearts Counseling Center was one of the early events.

Jody Thomae, trauma-sensitive YogaFaith teacher and trainer, spoke to a small group of twelve at the first class. She first explained how trauma-sensitive yoga works and then demonstrated and taught the class some of the moves.

Based on “typical” yoga, in trauma-sensitive yoga, instructors are careful to avoid triggering attendees who make have suffered some sort of trauma.

“In regular yoga, I would say, ‘warrior pose,’ but in trauma-sensitive yoga I would say ‘warrior,” said Thomae. “The word pose could trigger someone who has been posed.”

People are also “invited” to participate and given options throughout the class. Hands-on assistance is “completely off the table,” said Thomae, who has taught exercise classes for more than 20 years.

The idea for this trauma-sensitive class came from counseling center owner, Maja-lisa Anderson.

“It was a dream of mine,” she said.

She hopes this class allows victims of trauma to feel more comfortable in their bodies after a traumatic incident.

The next yoga class will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, May 12. People are asked to RSVP to Anita Hickinbotham by calling 419-528-5993, extension 0. The event is free, but space is limited.

Other mental health awareness events will take place throughout the month. The calendar of events includes a community outreach day hosted by Catalyst Life Services Thursday, May 11 and a community forum will be held Wednesday, May 24.

When discussing Mental Health Month at the May 3, MH&RS executive director, Trolian, also invited the public to attend upcoming the Richland County Drug Court graduation ceremony, held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 11.

“It’s so exciting to go to these and see all these people who have battled addition and came out of the other side,” he said.