Recently, we hosted a trauma-informed yoga class at Independent Sector. We want to extend our thanks to Cole, who taught the session. The class was a women-only space, and the session focused on breathing, movement, and connecting with our bodies. As artists, practicing mindfulness and movement is important to maintaining not only our health, but also our creativity. There is a sense of clarity that comes from grounding yourself which is necessary to getting in touch with your feelings, manage stress, and ultimately feeling more well rounded. Trauma-informed yoga acknowledges the delicate relationship of mind and body. In learning about our bodies through the practice of yoga, we are able to reclaim and establish relationships with ourselves.

Our trauma-informed yoga class provides a basis for understanding the transformative power of movement, art, and creativity as tools for healing. There is a long-standing connection between art, movement, and healing. According to Americans for the Arts, arts for health and healing include any medium of art “that can be combined with healthcare.” Often this includes “dance/movement, drama, music, visual, literary arts, performing arts, and design.” More importantly, Americans for the Arts asserts that “research confirms that the arts enhance coping, thereby reducing patients’ need for hospital care, pain medication, and unnecessary extra costs.” It is clear that creating spaces which integrate arts, creativity, and healing have tangible benefits in advancing holistic healthcare efforts.

Our hope is that this class is just the beginning of rethinking how we approach healing within our own community. It is clear that as young people we experience a wide-range of stressors, from managing school, to working multiple jobs, and living as artists. How do we manage the pressure that we experience on a daily basis? How can we fully realize how arts and creativity can serve us in our individual paths to healing? Having classes like the trauma-informed yoga class allow us to revisit these big questions and encourage us to grow as a community.