Brenna is a (C-IAYT) Certified Yoga Therapist under the International Association of Yoga Therapists, a Certified Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Specialist including Pfilates Therapy, Certified Pre-Post Part Consultant, Certified Trauma Sensitive Yoga Therapist, with other specialties, Meditation for Teens and Adults including I-Rest and Para Yoga Nidra and Mindful Meditation for Children and Teens, Restorative and Yin Yoga, and integrates Ayurveda Lifestyle life coaching. She has been teaching for more than 8 years in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley areas. She does home visits that include small groups and privates or teaches from her small studio.
Integrative Yoga Therapy for Wellness
"MOVEMENT THROUGH AWARENESS"
A new offering of Somatic experience, integrated with Therapeutic Yoga techniques and the gentle easy Feldenkrais Method. You will learn how to replace lifelong habits of your unique movements, with realignment and somatic awareness for healing and moving with ease and grace. Discover, maybe for the first time, the "soma" being in the body, living in your body with less effort, ease, new found strengths and awareness.
Private Sessions : On Line or in your home
Class Sessions: On Line
Class Option: You and up to 4 friends in your home
Instructor: Brenna Jacobson (C-IAYT) Certified Yoga Therapist
I am happy to be including, the beautiful practice of Soma or Somatic Therapy into your experience. This practice can be blended with Therapeutic Yoga techniques or taken as a separate course of treatment. I offer it On-Line for classes, and I offer either On-Line or I will come to your home at no extra charge, for Private Sessions.
"Somatic" means what it feels like to be in your body. These gentle easy movements will teach your brain to learn to relax your muscles through easy painfree movement. Reminding your muscles that they need to flex, and reminding the body that it needs to bend, extend and twist is crucial in relieving muscle pain. Simple movements, even when done while seated, refresh your brain. The brain teaches our muscles to adapt while either sitting for long periods at a desk or in a car. One example would be how working on a computer all day can contribue to tight back muscles which contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, neck, shoulder and back pain.
Over the course of our lives , our muscles can become so tight due to stress experiences as a result of surgeries, accidents or ongoing stresses, that no matter what you do, massage or stretchng, those muscles won't relax for the long term. The muscles become tight and painful and most people think this is the result of aging. It is not. It is referred to as Sensory Motor Amnesia, and it happens to everyone, regardless of age. Sensory Motor Amnesia simply means that the brain, the control centre for the muscles, has taught those muscles to stay tight, and has simply forgotten how to relax them.
It is important to understand that the brain controls the muscles, so just as the brain teaches us how to ride a bike, swing a golf club or dance the tango, so to can it teach us to hold ourselves tightly in response to stress, for instance the need to sit for long hours or ride in a car. Even if one part of our body, your shoulders or your hips for example, are painful, there is always a full body pattern of contraction that occurs and makes it difficult to relax that part of the body. You will also learn 360o breathing, which tremendously enhances your sense of your unique body. Breathing is one of the ways in which we can make movement easier or harder, it makes a huge difference to incorporate the breath in a positive way to decrease physical effort to move.
Somatic movements will help you relax these patterns. They are simple and will teach your muscles to lengthen without stretching. When you stretch, you pull the muscle into the length you would like it to have, but this can cause the muscle to tighten back against this.
You will learn something that cats and dogs do when they come up from a rest. You will contract into the tight muscle first, then slowly lengthen. This is called Pandiculation. You will learn how to take your muscles off of cruise control, then lengthen and relax only as far as is comfortable. The concept isn't about having long muscles, it's about having relaxed and easy to move muscles. If you have read the previous Blog on the Feldenkrais Method, you may begin to hear similarities.
Anything you do consistently becomes a habit, for your muscles and your movement. Sitting for long hours , slouching, or arching your back trying to sit straight to correct the slouching. Habits Can Be Reversed!
These gentle movements are the key to reversing pain in the body, Be patient as you learn, and experience your body become more self-correcting, more balanced, and the muscles more relaxed. It all comes back to finding ways to step out of your habits, and explore the possibilities.
New Item - Feldenkrais Method
This beautiful practice can be studied on it's own or blended with Therapeutic Yoga and Somatic Therapy
Offered via Internet for group sessions, and Internet or home visits by me to your home at no extra charge for Private Sessions
Feldenkrais Method, how do you pronounce it, and what does it mean?
Pronounced Feldencrise, is the name given to a practice of experiencing "awareness through movement", and the name of the originator of this practice Moshe Feldenkrais.
The Practice is based on the principle that we all need to have habits, to have patterns, to have an acquired sense of self that we identify with. We need to give ourselves a sense that we are whole. If we learn to sense our tonic state, meaning the minimal amount of muscular tone that we need to have to be upright in the world of gravity, if we can have that quality, in a particular moment, then we're not bound by our "muscular habit", the way we know ourselves, our muscular preferences, what is familiar. Essentially, as long as our pathway is one of continual maintenance of a sense of safety, and sense of one's self, we are not going to give up behaviors unless there is something better to replace it.
So, what do we do with "Awaremess Through Movement"? We begin to discriminate. What do you descriminate? Not your normal habits, on the contrary, we descriminate the differences, in sensation and the way in which you initiate movement. Moshe taught that the most important thing that happens in a class is not the movements themselves, but "what did you notice"? What did you find out about yourself that was new?
We are exploring possibilities, of how we habitually move within our body, while breaking movements down into the smallest segments, experiencing and being curious about what other parts are involved, and what we can do with that through exploration of whether these things make movement easier, or are they unecessary and something to get rid of. A part of this learning process is not just acknowledging, but feeling and knowing that due to our life styles and habits formed from early on, and effects of events through the years, we have adapted to make things work by using those habits, and what feels normal for you, and as a result, have formed an image and sense of our body, and of who we are based on that.
So, the point is that until we can recognize the nature of our habits, step back and outside of those habits, we aren't able to free ourselves from our conditioning and patterns of anxiety and insecurity. It's the process of keeping things as simple as possible, experiencing that simplicity, and learning that there other ways of doing things.
The dance is in discriminating the differences in the sensation and the way in which you initiate the movement. Without complicating this idea, this discriminatory process, inhibits the normal flow of the thinking process. It brings composure and quiet to the limbic system, you will experience profound change in the story about you and your body, that the mind is maintaining. What happens as a result, is that as the wholeness of a sensation and movements takes place, your entire system reaches a level of integration and synthesis that is greater than where you came from.
In the words of Victor Frankl: "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom".
Every time you dance and play between sensation and movement, you are in a space where you can choose your own way. It's a profound micro-second of time, that very gradually, very easily, we can widen. There is a quietness here, in this space, that is not the conditioning that you or I experience in this world, where you can choose your way in any given set of circumstances.
Healthy means people can restore their physical integrity, recover their emotional dignity, and become healthy. Healthy means you have the internal means to meet ongoing changes in the world and sense that you have the resources to meet those needs. This can transform your life by finding a way to care for yourself, rather than focusing on supporting the accumulated sense and image of yourself.
The Feldenkraise Method can be a means to that end.
All current and new programs are now offered On Line, or In-Home Visits in your home
Welcome to Summer 2020! Many of us are focused on moving more, getting outdoors and enjoying all that summer has to offer. My focus during the Lock Down has been on educating myself in order to continue to work with each and every one of you who have been without therapy for 2-3 months.
I have used this time expanding my knowledge to enhance what I can share with you on your healing journey. The focus is on learning about ourselves, our habits, and "Experimenting and Experiencing"- ways to make movement easier by doing less.
Now that we are adjusting to the new cautionary lifestyle of COVID-19, the key words are "safe", "getting used to new ways", and "replacing old habits with new ones".
I am so proud of all of you for taking good care of yourselves and families through this challenging time. So, my job now is to continue with cautionary practices, and help keep us and our families safe.
I am now teaching On-Line, those of you who are participating are enjoying and getting more familiar with it. The safest way for us moving forward to post-COVID 19, is clearly for me to continue to provide you On-Line classes only. For Private clients, as well as On-Line sessions, I will offer in-home visits, at no extra charge. We will all be following the precautions and guidlines posted on my Blog below under "Informed Consent - COVID-19" as suggested by Work Safe B.C.
I am happy to announce some additions to your therapy practices, which I can either blend with your Therapeutic Yoga techniques, or you can study as separate lessons.
Previous Offerings are all still available: Group or Private Sessions
- Yoga Therapy
- Pre-Post Natal
- Pelvic Rehabilitation
- Mindful Meditation.
- Pre-Post Op Therapy
New Offerings - I am excited to introduce the following practices, designed to help us become aware of old habits and exploring new possibilities
Feldenkrais Method - can be studied alone or in conjunction with Therapeutic Yoga
Somatic Therapy - can be studied alone or in conjunction with Therapeutic Yoga
For more informtion on these please see the Blogs
Integrative Yoga Therapy For Wellness
INFORMED CONSENT FOR IN-PERSON SERVICES DURING COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
This document contains important information about our decision (yours and mine) to resume in-person services in the light of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Please read this carefully and let me know if you have any questions. When you sign this document, it will be an official agreement between us.
Decision to Meet Face-to-Face
We have agreed to meet in person for some or all future sessions. If there is a resurgence of the pandemic or if other health concerns arise however, I may require that we meet via telehealth. If you have concerns about meeting through telehealth, we will talk about it first and try to address any issues. You understand that if I believe it is necessary, I may determine that we return to telehealth for everyone's well-being, if you decide at any time that you would feel safer staying with, or returning to, telehealth services, I will respect that decision, as long as it is feasible and clinically appropriate. Reimbursement for telephealth , is between you, and per your insurance provider.
Risks of Opting for In-Person Services
You understand that by my coming to your home, I am assuming the risk of exposure to the coronavirus. This risk may increase if I have to travel by public transportation, as opposed to in my private vehicle.
Your Responsibility to Minimize Your Exposure
To obtain services in person, you agree to take certain precautions which will help keep everyone (you, me, our families, and other clients, safer from exposure, sickness and possible death. If you do not adhere to these safeguards, it may result in our starting/returning to a telehealth arrangement. Initial each to indicate that you understand and agree to these actions:
- You will only keep your in-person appointment if you are symptom free_____
- If you have a fever, or if your temperature is elevated (100 farenheit or more), or if you have other symptoms of the coronavirus, you agree to cancel the appointment or proceed using telehealth. If you wish to cancel for this reason, I won't charge you a cancellation fee_____
- You and I agree that I will not appear earlier than 5 minutes before our appointment time____
- You will wash your hands or use alcohol-based sanitizer before I enter you home____
- You will adhere to the safe distancing precaution of 6 ft in our practice room____
- You and I will both wear a mask throuhout our session____
- You will keep a minimum distance of 3-6 feet (1-2m.), and there will be no physical contact____
- You will try not to touch your face or eyes with your hands. If you do, you will immediately wash or sanitize your hands____
- If you have a child, you will make sure that your child follows a hand washing and sanitizing protocol____
- Your child will stay in a separate room from the practice room____
- You will take steps between appointments to minimize your exposure to COVID____
- If your job exposes you to people who are infected, you will immediately let me know____
- If your commute or other responsibilities or activities put you in close contact with others (beyond your family), you will let me know____
- If a resident of your home tests positive for the infection, you will immediately let me know and we will then (begin)resume treatment via telehealth__
I may change the above precautions if additional local, state, or federal orders or guidelines are published. If that happens, we will talk about any necessary changes.
My Committment to Minimize Exposure
My practice has taken steps to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus in my home and I have posted my efforts on my website. Please let me know if you have any questions about these efforts.
If You or I are Sick
You understand that I am committed to keeping you, me, and all of our families safe from the spread of this virus. If I show up for an appointment and I believe that you have a fever or other symptoms, or believe you have been exposed, I will leave your home immediately. We can follow up with services by telehealth as appropriate. If I or a family member test positive for the coronavirus, I will notify you so that you can take appropriate precautions.
Your Confidentiality in the Case of Infection
If you have tested positive for the coronavirus, I may be required to notify local health authorities. If I have to report this, I will only providce the minimum informtion necessary for their data collection and will not go into any details about the reason(s) for our visits. By signing this form, you are agreeing that I may do so without an additional signed release.
Informed Consent: This agreement supplements the general informed consent/business agreement that we agreed to at the start of our work together.
Your signature below shows that you agree to these terms and conditions.
Yoga Therapist Date
Pre-Natal Classes offered now Tuesday evenings 7:00-8:30 pm
Limit 4 students, home studio.
Includes breathwork, pelvic rehabilitation knowledge and FUN
Instructor: Brenna Jacobson - Pre-natal Consultant, Pelvic Floor Specialty (C-IAYT) Yoga Therapist
Rise and Shine to Friday Morning Yoga Therapy!
9:30-11:00 am small classes 4-5 students.
No past experience necessary, just a desire to be healthy and happy!
You cannot separate the body, mind and soul, it’s a dance. The way we do asana, is the way we do life. It can be ½ way, resenting it, loving it, using it as an escape, and so on. Your practice is neutral, but it’s a mirror of who you are.
Restorative Yoga uses props, your body is a prop for the soul. Whatever container you bring to the mat can be filled, everything is there depending on your own experience. Who are you bringing to the mat today, what do you need, and what will you give? Where are you allowing your attention to go right now? Being present is essential, otherwise it’s just an exercise. One single breath in gratitude can change that.
What Restorative Yoga is Not:
Not stretching – it’s about opening, do less of a pose, more opening
Not the same as Yin Yoga – active asana, as opposed to hold and still, stretching
Not striving – I know you can do more, not sure you can do less
No ambition – opposite of relaxing, don’t need to do more go further and expand
No need to go anywhere else, do anything else, or be different than you are .
What we seek is already here, the pose is right here
Restorative Yoga can be therapeutic, but therapeutic yoga is not restorative
To be relaxed we need to be still, quiet, dark and warm. Restorative Yoga takes you toward sleep. To be still where you are, your body sleeps and your mind watches. You relax enough, without falling asleep. Our bodies are used to moving around, therefore stillness is a radical thing. Hence the time spent in finding that comfortable shape. Quietness, no music. Darkness, even if you close your eyes , light filters in . Darkness is good for the organs below the diaphragm, irregular periods, liver and digestion. Finally warmth, swaddling with blankets around hands, feet, belly back, anyware!
Most of our nervous systems are hyper stimulated, lack of sleep, improper diet, and stress have created our new “contagious diseases”.
“Intention” is what makes Restorative Yoga different. Your body sleeps while your mind watches as you sense your way through your practice, without thought. Like walking through a dark room filled with furniture. The use of props is to support your body in positions of comfort and ease, to facilitate the relaxation response, which is where healing begins.
Doing Restorative Yoga 20 min/day releases tension which represents the past, and lets you gently sink into the present, without judgement, ambition or needing to do anything. In your practice, you are really with yourself, for yourself, just simply being.
Restorative poses work with the rhythm of the body. They are powerful for removing blockages, to allow your body to heal, post cancer, lymph drainage for example with poses like legs up the wall. Back bending is healthy in opening the front body for digestion, posture and breathing. Semi inversions like legs up the wall are effective for relief of jet lag, restless leg syndrome, and jobs where you stand a lot. Gentle forward folds are great to initiate the relaxation response. Drop your chin in prayer. It facilitates relaxation. The state of yoga is Heart up Brain down. You will begin to notice changes in your breathing and a more relaxed state, as you drift toward the present moment.
When there are fewer choices, we have more time. We confuse busyness for meaning. We need to not only relax our body, we need to relax our life. In Restorative Yoga combined with Yoga Nidra deep relaxation practices, we gently manipulate the nervous system by putting it into a place of comfort and begin the healing process.
May we live like a lotus at home in the muddy water.
Brenna Jacobson (C- IAYT)
‘Mindfulness’ is a term you may be hearing a lot lately as it is being brought into the light, in response to our stressful lifestyles, and increased alienation from other people, due largely to the use of technology, cell phones, texting, video games to name a few. Mindfulness is paying attention to the here and now with acceptance and non-judgement, (kindness and curiosity). Mindfulness Meditation has been a part of Hatha Yoga Practices for 1000’s of years, so it’s not new, but thankfully is being rediscovered. It’s for all of us, children, teens and adults.
Have you ever found yourself repeatedly telling a child to “stop doing that”! It’s no wonder they either continue doing it, or find some way to avoid not doing it. What we really need to do is teach them “HOW” to stop. This brings it back to you, the parent, to start integrating Mindfulness into your own life, thereby by practice showing your kids how to respond rather than react. By being compassionate first to yourself, you are resolving your buzzing thoughts, which will magically get passed on to others. Try an experiment, pick a time during the day and check where your mind is, past, future or the present?
Many seeds of Mindfulness are planted early in Iife, but need to be tended and nurtured. For instance, as children we lay on the grass starring up into the blue sky, watching clouds, hearing birds chirping, noticing the breeze gently caressing our face. We enjoyed the moment, but most of us never learned how to integrate this into our life. Notice what you are doing already to set an example to children, teens or other adults. What do you do daily for self-care, relaxation and reflection? Our children also need to be encouraged to have “self” time to reset. As parents, we spend hours driving our children to countless extra-curricular classes and sport activities, as well as driving ourselves to run to workout practice on the way home from work, texting frantically to communicate and at end of the day feeling more burned out than ever. Through Mindfulness practice we can learn to stop, STOP, Take a breath, Observe and Proceed. We sometimes don’t realize that all of the extra’s we take on can have issues attached, whether it’s with a coach, a team mate, feeling inadequate, comparing oneself to others, and so on.
So the tough parts of the day don’t always end after school, they can confront us wherever we go and whoever we interact with. Coming from a place of mindful self-compassion, checking in throughout the day to appreciate the taste of food, noticing your body, noticing where your thoughts are and bringing them back to an anchor - often the breath, but an anchor can be a color, a body part, a word, endless choices. Taking a moment in the morning before checking your e-mail, think of acronym R.A.I.N., Recognize, notice and be with your feelings, Allow, your feelings to be as they are, Investigate, become curious why you feel the way you do, and Notice, the troubled thoughts are Not you, it’s not personal to you.
So, Mindfulness is not about being self-indulgent, weak, selfish, irresponsible, or having self pity. On the contrary, it’s about not beating yourself up when you fail, and be more likely to try again. It’s about taking more responsibility for yourself and family. It increases our perspective and brings awareness that you are not alone. As we take action we gain perspective and empathy for others as well. It has been said that 80% of life is just showing up. All you have to do is SHOW UP, and be in the present! The words “Medicine”and “ Meditation” are both derived from the same Sanskrit word for “Inner Measure”.
Brenna Jacobson, (C-IAYT), Yoga and Trauma Therapy
Reality is that life is not peaceful. Trauma can arise from any number of daily things, seemingly small to one person, yet overwhelming to another. Having experienced trauma, whether recently or in the past, one can feel like something is broken within us, wrong with us, or we feel damaged. This is not so, but is a part of the healing process and a normal response to internalizing a traumatic experience. Trauma Sensitive Yoga is not about fixing or changing anyone. It’s about learning how to find healing and support within, by empowering yourself to feel safe in your own body and mind and seeing the potential in yourself. By extracting yourself from the traumatic event, you are able to witness and self-observe. Through witnessing awareness, you begin to look at it objectively and come to realize that you are not the trauma, it is something that happened to you.
Through your yoga practice you can return to wholeness by seeing the experience from a place of comfort and safety within your own body, and in time, finding meaning in it. This will arise when the time is right for you. Post-Traumatic Growth will evolve, remembering that people don’t become great in spite of their problems, but because of them. Eventually your yoga practice will take you to that inner place where you can be the witness, and know that you can return to that place any time during your practice or in your daily life. Change will come from that untouched true nature, when you are operating not from brokenness, but from wholeness.
Trauma activates our Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) for survival, but leaves us frequently stuck in the fight or flight response. Practice that can help us get back into the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) includes Therapeutic Yoga, along with talk and physical therapy, and Meditation. In “The Relaxation Response: Yoga Therapy Meets Physiology” published in Yoga Therapy Today, Summer, 2017, yogatherapyinternational.com, renown founder and teacher Maggie Reagh lists restorative procedures under topics of Relaxing through Positioning the Body; Relaxing through Lengthening the Breath; Relaxing through Stilling the Mind and Balancing the Nervous System.
Utilizing guided meditation of Yoga Nidra allows healing to begin by building resilience to challenging circumstances that arise in our daily lives. In the International Journal of Therapy, No.19 (2009) p.123, David Emerson et al. state in Trauma-Sensitive Yoga: Principles, Practice and Research: “Trauma exposure is ubiquitous in our society. Over half the general population report having had exposure to at least one traumatic event over their lifetime, … research has shown that Yoga practices, including meditation, relaxation, and physical postures, can reduce autonomic sympathetic activation, muscle tension, and blood pressure, improve neuroendocrine and hormonal activity, decrease physical symptoms and emotional distress, and increase quality of life. For these reasons, Yoga is a promising treatment or adjunctive therapy for addressing cognitive, emotional, and physiological symptoms associated with trauma, and PTSD specifically.”
When we get stuck in the SNS, the brain is affected, the amygdala grows, making us more reactive, the hippocampus shrinks and we may lose perspective on time, the frontal cortex goes off-line, making it harder to make decisions or think things through. Trauma often makes us feel detached from our body, and sometimes feeling unsafe in our body. Dr. Herbert Benson of the Benson Henry Institute has found in Harvard University’s research that spending 20 minutes a day in the relaxation response can lower or turn off our stress genes. Through comforting Therapeutic Trauma Sensitive Yoga we experience the Relaxation Response of coming back to our body and mind. Yoga and guided meditation also help one to understand the significance of the breath. Controlled, yet easily learned, breathing is a powerful trigger to engage the relaxation response. Yoga Nidra supports organization of thoughts and flow of memories, and puts us in touch with our physical self.