WRITTEN BY DAVID HOLLEY, CEDAR RAPIDS 2016 TRAUMA-INFORMED YOGA TRAINING GRADUATE

 

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF. HOW DID YOU COME TO START PRACTICING YOGA?

I was a public school educator for 35 years, the last 31 in the Kirkwood, Missouri School District. In 2012 a friend of mine invited me to a yoga class that was being taught by his wife. I was hooked immediately.

 

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO TAKE THE STREET YOGA TRAUMA-INFORMED YOGA TRAINING? 

As I continued into yoga I was encouraged to take the 200 hour training ( “because we have no men teaching yoga.”) The more that I learned I recognized a need in the kids at our middle and high schools about better focus, about slowing down, about breathing, about life that I felt could be met through yoga.

 

HOW HAVE YOU STARTED USING THE SKILS YOU LEARNED FROM THE TRAINING?

I was contacted about leading a weekly yoga class in the Kirkwood Alternative School (ATLAS). Realizing that I needed more specific training with the “at risk” population I signed up for the Street Yoga weekend training in Cedar Rapids. The training ended on a Sunday. My class with the alternative school kids was on Tuesday.

 

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST TAKE-AWAY FROM THE TRAINING?

Street Yoga’s Trauma-Informed Yoga Training was practical and incredibly useful. It was less a prescriptive recipe and more a series of insights into kids and questions to ask oneself while preparing a program, a class or series of classes. Having said that, we learned useful, specific ideas about breathing that I implemented immediately. Mark and Dani also talked about checking in with the kids every 10 minutes or so. In other words, working with trauma centered yoga is not the typical 75 minute non-stop flowing yoga class. In our last activity, 2 incredibly kind and patient members of our class led a session where (surprise to them) we were instructed to act out negatively in a variety of ways. That too proved to be helpful training for the Tuesday class.

 

The leaders of our session, Mark and Dani, were simply terrific. I have only good things to say about the training I received at the Street Yoga training.