Tag Archives: yoga

Katie’s Bookshelf: Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness by David Treleaven

David Treleaven’s book, “Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness,” advocates for Mindfulness teachers to recognize the importance of understanding trauma from a biology, interpersonal, and systemic perspective, guide students safely through practices, and continuing to partner with other trauma professionals in their community. He puts a large emphasis on understanding the ongoing traumas that those who are in marginalized groups have to deal with and how this impacts their day to day life.

The author gives a brief background of Mindfulness but assumes one who is reading this already has that foundation. He provides more information on trauma and the residue it leaves in the body. He then outlines his 5 principles of Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness; staying within the window of tolerance, shifting attention to support stability, working with dissociation, practicing with relationship, and understanding social context.

“The point here is that other people–who they feel are safe and trustworthy–can help survivors regulate arousal, whether through settling eye contact, physical touch, or overall presence.”

As a therapist and yoga instructor who spends a lot of time taking in content on trauma, mindfulness, and yoga, I found this book incredibly enlightening and useful. Treleaven approaches this heavy topic with a wealth of his own knowledge, vignettes to describe how mindfulness can be effective and ineffective with those who have endured trauma, and steps for the Mindfulness practitioner to understand how to structure, lead, and address a class and a survivor with a trauma-sensitive approach. I really enjoyed his emphasis on systemic trauma in that it gave me a better understanding of how the ongoing trauma can show up differently than other traumas. I also appreciated his information on the vagus nerve as it relates to neuroception(being able to connect to the social world).

This book is a must read for any practitioner of mindfulness or yoga, since mindfulness is used so abundantly in classes. All instructors will teach survivors of trauma whether they know about it or not. It’s always important to know the risks and how to address an abreaction.

Read this book if:

  • You are a Mindfulness, Meditation, or Yoga Instructor
  • You are a therapist who may be utilizing or recommending mindfulness practices

Buy it Here

Treleaven, D. A. (2018). Trauma-sensitive mindfulness: practices for safe and transformative healing. New York: W.W Norton & Company.

Books for Yogis

I’ve created a list of books that I believe are interesting for people who practice Yoga or are interested in beginning their Yoga practice.

Books for Adversity

Below you will find a list of books with links to the reviews to help you when you encounter adversity.

Katie’s Bookshelf: What We Say Matters by Judith Hanson Lasater & Ike Lasater

“What We Say Matters” by Judith Hanson Lasater and Ike Lasater is based on Marshall Rosenberg’s techniques of “Non-Violent Communication.” Ike and Judith describe their practice of NVC as spiritual in nature as a way to connect to ourselves first and then to others. For them it’s a way to practice “Satya”(a Yama of Yoga Philosophy meaning truthfulness” and “Right Speech” from Buddhism.

“My words reflect my thoughts, my thoughts reflect my beliefs, and my beliefs, especially the unexamined ones, run my world.”

The basic concepts of NVC are: make observations, name your feelings, express your needs, and make a request. They do a good bit of work around connecting to yourself with empathy before responding as a way to be authentic with your needs, and wishes. The recommend using the phrase, “when I hear____, I feel____, because I need____; would you be willing to____? The book ends with a chapter on talking to our partners, children, parents, coworkers, and the world.

I have studied Yoga with Judith many times and have always admired the way she uses her words which inspired me to read this book. It’s a relatively short book but heavy with material. I feel as if I took in a lot of information and will need to read this several more times. I recently purchased Rosenberg’s book “Non-Violent Communication” as a way to dive deeper into this practice.

Read this book if:

  • You are interested in communicating more authentically
  • Have a desire to hear others more empathetically
  • Want improved relationships

Buy it Here

Lasater, J., & Lasater, I. (2009). What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication. Berkeley, CA: Rodmell Press.

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

Untethered“The Untethered Soul; The Journey Beyond Yourself” by Michael A Singer explores the mind and our thoughts and how they create suffering in life.  We tend to attach to our thoughts and believe them to be truth; truth about other, the world, circumstances, and ourselves.  Singer calls our thoughts our “inner roommate.”  He emphasizes the importance of being a non-judgmental observer of our thoughts in order to avoid attachment.

“Through meditation, through awareness and willful efforts, you can learn to keep your {energy} centers open.  You do this by just relaxing and releasing.  You do this by not buying into the concept that there is anything worth closing over.  Remember, if you love life, nothing is worth closing over.  Nothing, ever, is worth closing your heart over.”

This book is a great compliment to Yoga and Meditation.  In both practices, the “monkey mind” is what we are really working with.  During Yoga(especially Restorative and Yin) and Meditation, we still our bodies and become aware of the mind.  The mind is always moving and bouncing, we just are not aware of it during the day because we are over stimulated.  Being a witness to the activity of the mind without creating a story or judgement is challenging.  Singer’s book brings awareness to how much energy and suffering there is when we identify with our thoughts and judgments.

“You are not your thoughts; you are aware of your thoughts.  You are not your emotions; you feel your emotions.  You are not your body; you look at it in the mirror and experience this world through its eyes and ears.  You are the conscious being who is aware of all these inner and outer things.”

Overall, this book resonated with me.  As a Therapist, Yoga Instructor, lover of Yogic Philosophy, and Yogi, the concepts align well with what I talk about and practice.  I feel as if we are all looking for a way to live more peacefully within ourselves without the burden of the mind.

Read this book if:

  • You practice Yoga or Meditation
  • Love Yoga Philosophy
  • Interested in detaching from your thoughts
  • Want to deepen your relationship and understanding of the Self

Buy it Here

Singer, M. A. (2013). The untethered soul: The journey beyond yourself. Oakland, CA: Noetic Books, Institute of Noetic Sciences, New Harbinger Publications.