Join Vanessa Ainslie, LMT, CLC, CST, AWC during this monthly integrated approach to movement therapy with a focus on emotional and spiritual well being in a supportive and nourishing space.
Our bodies store trauma at the cellular level, taking up space and creating blockages in our body, mind, and energy. This class combines movement, breathing exercises, and mindfulness as studies have shown them, especially in a group setting, to play an important role in the healing process. Sound healing is also incorporated to help the body access deep states of relaxation by inducing theta brain wave states and disengaging the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight/freeze/fawn).
Sharing, while optional, is encouraged as it promotes well-being and sense of connection. Vanessa believes that, with the right container, powerful healing becomes accessible and amplified by the energy of group witnessing/being witnessed.
This class was created in consultation with trauma therapist, Dr. Michelle Brown and is held in a loving container of body positivity and inclusivity with the understanding no space is a safe space but works to actively track experiences and build healthy skills for coping and re-grounding when over stimulated.
Please feel welcome to arrive up to 15 minutes early to settle in. Mats, bolsters, props, and chairs are provided to accommodate a wide range of abilities and experiences. Please dress comfortably and arrive well hydrated. You are welcome to bring anything you might need to feel comfortable during our time together.
***This class is designed to connect with your felt senses, uncover and move deeply stored emotions in the body which can be an uncomfortable or destabilizing feeling for many. If you are not already a student or client of Vanessa's, it is strongly recommended to schedule a 60 or 90 min session to assess if this class is a good fit for you at this time. We can discuss the details of how this class will impact you, what to expect and tools to keep you grounded and supported during this class.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a session here.
What we'll do Our time together will start with breathing exercises and mindful meditation to work our way into gentle movements designed to bring awareness into the body to release stored tension. Time will also be given for free form movement, a short sound bath, and optional group sharing.
How we'll do it Movement exercises, while meant to warm the body, increase blood flow, stretch and strengthen the body and mind, are oriented to personal experience and embodiment rather than the priority of physical fitness. Class size is limited to 6, lights are dim, and music will be played throughout. Many variations and props are available for each movement/pose to accommodate all abilities and experiences.
Who this class is for Trauma is defined as anything that overwhelms the body’s ability to cope, at any given time. Trauma shows up for each of us differently. Oftentimes it’s difficult to name why we are feeling out of sorts, blocked, disconnected, foggy, trouble sleeping, anxious, and/or depressed. This class is geared towards reconnection through positive mind/body experiences and is open to all abilities, all women, non-binary, gender queer, and gender non-conforming folks regardless of trauma history.
Cost: Sliding Scale $20-$40
Vanessa believes this work is important and should be accessible to all. Sliding scale is available with priority given, in order, to BIPOC, those who have limited ability/disabilities, those who are chronically ill and/or those who are living at or below the poverty line.
Vanessa Ainslie (she/her), LMT, CLC, CST, AWC Owner and founder of Madrona House Apothecary, Vanessa is a healing arts practitioner and educator striving to create an inclusive community based healing arts center. She brings 13 years of practice and offers Trauma Informed Bodywork, Energetic Healing, and Personal Ritual. Her practice is rooted in reconnecting to the pre-abrahamic land-based practices of her ancestors in right relationship with the Spirit of this land. Vanessa is a 4th generation immigrant from Greece, both Sephardic Jew (from the Middle East and Mediterranean areas ) and Ashkenazi Jew (from Poland, Russia, Hungary, and Lithuania), German, Blackfoot, and Cherokee.
This class will be held at Madrona House Apothecary + Healing Arts
1423 34th ave unit c seattle wa 98122
Look for the red cow restaurant and take the concrete stairs to the immediate left. Come up the wood porch to the right and through glass door that says Unit C! Street parking is abundant in the neighborhood.
Accessibility Info: We have an up sloping driveway with 5 concrete stairs that lead to a wood porch with 3 more stairs.
Due to the nature of being an Apothecary we are not a scent free environment. We do, however, strive to keep our space free of any synthetic fragrances and APPRECIATE YOUR ABSTAINING FROM WEARING ANY SCENTED BODY PRODUCTS.
*Please note: Due to the increasing demand for our events registrations are non-refundable and are non-transferable to another event.
Studio doors lock promptly at the start of all events to protect the privacy + belongings of students, as well as to promote sanctity of space once an event has started.
A Little More about Science and Spirituality of Trauma
Trauma is understood as anything that overwhelms the body’s ability to cope at any given time and can be measured on a very wide spectrum from disapproval and unmet needs to neglect and abuse from caregivers to strangers, from womb to adulthood.
In my experience, people with trauma are less likely to self identify with its symptoms, which is often a result of the detached self-awareness needed to keep us safe. Many are likely to say things like "I had a good childhood, my parents loved me and my needs were met." because as children we do not have the emotional intelligence to understand that somehow our parents are only human and were not avaialbe to meet us in our needs. I often hear things like "It wasn't that bad, at least it wasn't this or that" because, and especially if we are socialized female, we've internalized our abuse and believe we are somehow at fault or could have prevented it.
We often dissociate during stress/trauma, protecting ourselves from the pain by detaching from our feelings and felt senses. Neurologically, this amounts to shutting down the critical functions of the higher brain which help inform where you are in time and space. Instead, the emotional instincts of the lower brain take over to manage the fight/flight/freeze/fawn response. If you've ever had a panic/anxiety attack, you've probably experienced first hand what it feels like to have logic and reason completely inaccessible to you.
Because we are separated from our higher brain functions, we loose the ability to store memories attached to a particular time and place. Instead we store the memories as simple images, feelings, or smells. Because those images, feelings, or smells are unattached to any time or place, if we experience them out of their original context, our body believes we are back in the moment of that real or perceived threat and will elicit the same physiological stress response. This is what is classically known as a trigger. During stress the body will route all it's resources into mobilizing to fight or flee; increased heart rate and blood flow to the limbs, and decreased resources to the digestive organs and brain. While this is a healthy function of being a human, over stimulation of the stress response can lead to adrenal fatigue, sleeplessness, nightmares, slow or poor digestive system, anxiety, depression, irrational behavior, feeling out of sorts/out of control and so on.
Spiritually, this splitting off from our feelings and felt senses is what is often referred to as soul-loss. We check-out because a part of us believes our body is no longer a safe place to inhabit and cuts off all connection to preserve itself. When we experience dissociation in this way, an un-embodied or fragmented part of us is still living in the past unable to integrate new experiences. This lost part of us, while still intact, is unable to feel felt sensations and emotions therefore unable to contribute to the spiritual growth of you as a person.
Our response to stress is vital to our survival. Healing from trauma necessitates honoring and befriending our coping mechanisms because once the threat is over, the coping mechanisms that at one point kept us safe, become limiting beliefs. These limiting beliefs take up space in our bodies and energy fields, blocking us from being fully present and keep us from experiencing how life energy wants to move through us, connecting us to our joy, self love, abundance, confidence, and self acceptance.
At our most basic level we are looking to be loved, seen, and understood. The goal of this practice is to re-engage the critical thinking mind by using mindfulness as a tool to become an observer of our patterns rather than having them dictate our reactions. By accessing emotions and felt senses and being met with positive reinforcement in real time, we are able to start re-wiring the way the brain stores trauma so you can live in alignment with what is most true for you.
Upcoming dates: Nov 7 Dec 5 Jan 9 Feb 6 Mar 5 April 14