Episode 16 Trauma Informed Yoga for Nervous System Regulation with Kristine Weber

Jun 23, 2021

What are some of the scientifically proven benefits of yoga? Why is it important to find the correct yoga instructor for you and your mental health needs? Can you practice yoga in session with your client?

MEET KRISTINE WEBER

Kristine Weber, MA, C-IAYT, eRYT500 is a leading world authority on the neuroscientific benefits of slow, mindful yoga and an advocate for the use of these practices as an integral part of the solution to the healthcare crisis.

She is leading the charge to get slow, mindful practices to people who desperately need them through her Subtle® Yoga Revolution series of online courses and training for yoga teachers – which have been praised by thousands all over the world. She has been training mental health professionals to use yoga in their clinical practices for over a decade at the Mountain Area Health Education Center which is associated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Find out more at www.subtleyoga.com

IN THIS PODCAST:

  • Benefits of yoga for anxiety and depression
  • Yoga as a whole is not defined by one teacher
  • Benefits of clinician self-care with yoga for clients

BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

The German researcher Holger Kramer has conducted numerous meta-analyses and reviews of the benefits of yoga through a scientific lens to prove its effectiveness to the Western world.

[Holger Kramer conducted] systematic reviews on looking at yoga for depression, for anxiety, for mental health in general, for addiction recovery … one of the things he says in one study is the best yoga is the kind of yoga that you’ll do. (Kristine Weber)

It has been concluded that slow, mindful yoga is one of the best treatments for depression.

The world is beginning to move towards an evidence-informed practice of proving the efficiency of new treatments, which is necessary, but the yoga world does need to push more for more research credibility.

There are still many people who discredit the benefits of yoga, but that is simply because science needs to find the correct tools on how to prove yoga’s benefits.

YOGA AS A WHOLE IS NOT DEFINED BY ONE TEACHER

Many people have been put off by yoga or discredit the entire practice of yoga when they encounter a misinformed or brash instructor. It takes many hours of teaching a certain kind of person to lead a yoga class with patience and calmness.

One cannot bring aggression or tension into the yoga space. The yoga space is the place where those things are worked out of the body, and it is not possible to relieve tension with even more tension.

First of all, there is tons of good yoga going on out there, even if the teacher hasn’t been trained in trauma-informed practices they could still be really good. It’s more about going to classes and finding who you feel like is safe … and then refer [them]. (Kristine Weber)

For trauma-informed yoga practices, it is vital for yoga instructors that assist patients with anxiety and depression to be correctly trained. It is also important for doctors who refer patients to yoga instructors to know who they are sending patients to, and if this instructor will be good for guiding them on their treatment.

BENEFITS OF CLINICIAN SELF CARE WITH YOGA FOR CLIENTS

There is certainly a parallel process going on … what we hear over and over again is clinicians saying to us “I can’t believe how good I feel when I do some yoga with my client” because we recommend that. We don’t recommend that you just sit there [and instruct]. (Kristine Weber)

As the clinician it is sometimes better for the client, and for you, to practice yoga in-session with your client. This creates not only a deeper connection between you and the client, but it creates a shared space of accountability.

You can encourage the client to let go and be an active part of their healing by being an active member alongside them.

You can use two to five minutes – brief interventions – at the beginning of the session, maybe another five in the middle of the session when there has been some traumatic sharing, and then another few minutes to close the session.

In the clinician and mental health profession, self-care – as a counselor and general care provider – is imperative.

Can you make your self-care as daily and as important as brushing your teeth?

Connect With Me

Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Transcript

[CHRIS McDONALD]

The Holistic Counseling Podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like Behind the Bite, Full of Shift and Impact Driven Leader, go to www.practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Welcome to the Holistic Counseling Podcast, where you discover diverse wellness modalities, advice on growing your integrative practice, and grow confidence in being your unique self. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. I'm so glad you're here for the journey.

[CHRIS]

Welcome to today's episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. I'm your host, Chris MacDonald. Today's guest is someone who is a great mentor to me, my former yoga teacher who taught me in my 200-hour yoga teacher training. She really got me started in using holistic yoga through my clinical practice. And what I loved about her training is it was specifically geared towards behavioral health professionals. When I first started looking, I found a lot of regular yoga training, but realized that I wanted something that was geared towards licensed professionals and this totally, the subtle yoga totally met the mark. So I'm also a part of her membership site, the Subtle Yoga Resilience Society since last summer and I love it.

So I've been using that every week as part of my personal practice and as part of learning, continuing to learn about subtle yoga to use with my clients. Her name is Kristine Webber and she is a leading world authority on the neuroscientific benefits of slow, mindful yoga, and an advocate for the use of these practices as a part of the solution to the healthcare crisis. She's been training mental health professionals to use yoga in their clinical practices for over a decade in Asheville, North Carolina, but she is coming to us from all the way in New Zealand, the first international person on the podcast. Yay. Welcome to the podcast, Kristine.

[KRISTINE WEBER]

That was a good intro thing, thanks. Yes. I'm coming from New Zealand because we moved here.

[CHRIS]

I was so jealous of you during the pandemic, when they were doing so well with the pandemic, I was like, "She'd picked the right time to move."

[KRISTINE]

My husband is from Auckland, so it wasn't a big deal for us to move her. We don't know how long we'll be here. We thought we'd just go find out for a while for you.

[CHRIS]

Good for you. Is COVID still in control there?

[KRISTINE]

Yes, they don't have any cases. Occasionally they'll get a case in managed isolation, which is their quarantine program, but there's no cases in the community. Yes., i's pretty amazing actually what they've done, but it's an island, so, you know [crosstalk] two islands.

[CHRIS]

That has to be refreshing when you came from the US.

[KRISTINE]

It was like, I felt like I won the lottery. It wasn't COVID lottery when we got out of managed isolation, because you have to be in quarantine for two weeks and then when we got out and we went to the airport and we flew to Christchurch, which is where we're living and just saw people being normal, it was ---

[CHRIS]

I love that 'people bring normal.' Wow, that is something. But can you share more with my listeners more about yourself in your work?

[KRISTINE]

have been teaching yoga since:

And the other person of course, was one of my students at the time, Ashley Lester, who's also a licensed clinical social worker. And my husband's very introverted and he was like, "I don't really want to present." Then I was like, okay, and so I asked Ashley and so together ---

[CHRIS]

And that's how she got involved.

[KRISTINE]

Right, and so together we approached MAHEC, the Mountain Area Health Education Center, which is a very prominent continuing education organization in the Western part of North Carolina. It's affiliated with UNC chapel Hill as all the AHECs are, the Area Health Education Centers. But MAHEC has always been very much on the cutting edge because it's in Nashville and so there's so much ---

[CHRIS]

Asheville is always on the cutting edge, right?

[KRISTINE]

Yes. And there's so much innovation there. So we approached MAHEC and at first they were like, what? What are you trying to do here? They just didn't get it. So we did a little plotting and we said, we got to find the person who knows something about yoga at MAHEC. So we found the person who had the yoga mat in her office and we were like, we need to her. And it turned out, her name was Elizabeth Fleming, and it turned out that she was the director of the mental health continuing education at that time. And she was like, 'You want to do yoga for depression, anxiety, and trauma and addiction recovery?" We were like, "Yes, we want to teach about that." And was like, "Okay."

[CHRIS]

So you're right, finding the right person.

[KRISTINE]

Yes, it was about finding the right person. She was like, "I think that sounds cool." And when we first started, we'd have these tiny little classes, or eight or 10 people. And I remember one guy coming to the class going, "I just need CEOs. That's the only reason I'm here. And this has nothing to do with mental health." I was like, "Oh, okay." That was one of my first, it was a very hard sell in the beginning, I should say, but over these past 12 or 11 or 12 years, things have shifted dramatically. And now we have people coming from all over the country, because our program is so unique, it was the first of its kind in the country. We had been doing it for a long time. We've graduated hundreds of clinicians and it's just, it's so exciting. And then the other factors, like how much therapy has started to look to the body and to bring yes ---

[CHRIS]

Yes, big shift to the sematic awareness.

[KRISTINE]

Big shift. I agree. So that's also been really supportive of our work. And right now I'm in the middle, I don't know if you know this, Chris, but I'm in the middle of a research study. We're doing a research study at a state-run treatment facility for drug and alcohol treatment facility in collaboration with East Tennessee University on looking to settle yoga, support recovery, in early recovery, the first two weeks of early recovery, just yoga-supported, and can it be delivered by clinicians because I train the trainers. I'm not delivering the service in that study. I train the clinicians to deliver the service, which I think is a really powerful, potentially could be a very powerful strategy because clinicians already have this trust relationship with their clients. And so if they're delivering the service, there's going to be more buy-in, more people like, "Okay, I can do yoga." And then also understanding the comorbid physical limitations that often come along with mental health challenges, like low back pain, fatigue, being able to share chair yoga practices. That's what we're doing in the study, chair yoga and reframing yoga as a way to regulate the nervous system rather than just a fitness.

[CHRIS]

That's what I learned with subtle yoga, was that whole psycho-education piece that we're not going to give you abs or you're not here for the strength training. It's all about the nervous system regulation.

[KRISTINE]

Exactly.

[CHRIS]

Yes, that's so important.

[KRISTINE]

Yes. So that's what I've been up to. And then since I moved to New Zealand, I'm just doing everything remotely, which is why I'm like, "Oh no, how long we can stay here, because I'm getting up really early in the morning?"

[CHRIS]

That's sure. The time difference has got to be a shift for you.

[KRISTINE]

But mostly what I'm doing now is working on some online programs. So we'll have, this year, we'll have one online introductory course out for mental health professionals, but it won't be the whole teacher training, but at least be some introduction and a lot of practices that mental health professionals can use.

[CHRIS]

Right. I know that your background you've had a lot of training and I know you went to India at one point. So what was it about the slow, mindful yoga that you dove into instead of the other kinds?

[KRISTINE]

e. So this would've been like:

So I was studying yoga just with some of my bodywork teachers who were teaching yoga as part of body work. So I did some yoga in the bay area, but I never got into fitness-based yoga. I was doing it as a healing practice. Then I went to Asia for four years, I spent about six months in India at various Ostrom's studying yoga, lots of meditation. That really was always taught to me as the primary yoga practice, was meditation, and then the Asanas and the breathing practices support the meditation. And the whole point of yoga is to still your mind, which is also the point of psychotherapy to be in ---

[CHRIS]

Right, that's why there's such a great intersection with that.

[KRISTINE]

I came back to the states in:t sweaty stuff. And it was in:

[CHRIS]

Amazing. I feel good for you too, validating.

[KRISTINE]

It was very validating. Yes, it was like, oh, you're supposed to teach not try and fake it, which is, I guess what I was doing. I wasn't trying to fake it, but I was trying to do something that I wasn't passionate about.

[CHRIS]

That's the difference. Yes, I'm sure, and how that feels in your body.

[KRISTINE]

started training teachers in:

[CHRIS]

It's pretty profound, yes.

[KRISTINE]

Yes, and I think why it dovetails so well with mental health work, whatever you're doing in terms of mental health, particularly with addiction recovery, but very much also with improving mental health, because it is about that, giving yourself time and space to be present with yourself and start developing a better relationship with yourself and start to untangle a lot of the cultural and familial patterning that really makes people miserable.

[CHRIS]

That's true. I'm thinking about the past year with the pandemic and how much more. And I think more people have turned to yoga and meditation in the past year too, more introspection.

[KRISTINE]

I don't know if there's any data on that.

[CHRIS]

I don't know. I'm just guessing.

[KRISTINE]

I know. I mean, it would be lovely if that was the case, but then, and perhaps it is, I don't know. Somebody needs to do a study on it, but most of the data that I'm seeing is about wait game, a lack of activity, lack of fitness, lack of exercise, increased chronic health conditions. That's most of the data that I'm seeing. Unfortunately, I think the rationale is because it's a global trauma. So we're in the middle of a global trauma. And what do people prioritize during trauma? Survival. So eating is considered essential during survival. Watching the news will be considered essential because you got to make sure things are, you're safe and then everything else just is gone. Everything else goes away, including contemplative, including the opportunity to contemplate the future and what your life is about and what you want to do with yourself.

Like that stuff, just all good gets put on hold during trauma. So not everybody's going to experience this as traumatic, but in general it's a global trauma and so that requires trauma interventions, I think. And one of the main things with trauma is you got to get the nervous system back online so that there is the capacity to contemplate. You have to get back into the prefrontal cortex. So there is a capacity to contemplate because otherwise you're just in survival brain and that's survival brain mode for long periods of time is what leads to chronic stress and chronic inflammation and chronic health conditions.

[CHRIS]

Exactly. And I think that makes a lot of sense about the trauma piece. I still have clients that struggle even getting vaccinated because now we got the vaccine here in North Carolina and it's available to anyone that wants it but some are still having that pandemic anxiety, is pretty debilitating. But I try to use the psycho-education as well that this is a global trauma and it makes sense why that your brain has not caught up with this and it's going to take some time to work through this and process it. That's why I find that subtle yoga comes in so perfectly, because like, just for example, like last night I had a client I saw and immediately when she jumped on the video call, she was just, you could tell she's like fidgety and hyped up. So we immediately did some of the grounding, a little bit of breath works, three par breath, and then afterwards she was just like, "I feel so much better."

[KRISTINE]

That's so good.

[CHRIS]

Yes. So being able to see it, that's why I love it because I can't imagine someone like that to start, "Okay, let's just start with talk therapy." I mean, you can, but I just feel like it brings it to a whole other level.

[KRISTINE]

And also the neuroscience of what's going on there. So when somebody is acting out of their limbic brain or even brainstem and not the prefrontal cortex, isn't online, then you can't have rational conversations with someone. So you've got to address the dysfunction in the nervous system via some kind of somatic intervention in order to be able to access the front brain and that executive function stuff. So that's the piece of it that I think is so helpful for psychotherapists because when you do have somebody in your office or in the zoom call who is exhibiting this anxiety symptoms, you're not necessarily going to be able to talk that person down.

[CHRIS]

Not always.

[KRISTINE]

Yes. I mean sometimes yes, but that requires a certain level of regulation, of self regulation that the person already inherently can access. If somebody is not being able to access that, whatever their tools are for self-regulation, then you do have to bring the body into the conversation.

[KRISTINE]

And frankly, a problem with psychotherapy in the west is that we bifurcated the body and the mind and the spirit, trifurcated I guess, with the work being, we have separated, divorced the body, mind and spirit. What yoga offers us beyond the somatic interventions is the opportunity to leave that Cartesian dualism in the dustbins of history where it belongs. It's been around way too long and reclaim our very human need for integration of body, mind, and spirit. That is the way that human beings are supposed to live in. You can actually trace the mental health epidemic, the substance abuse epidemic back to that dysfunctional worldview that all of us in this cultural whole, that's bio psycho-spiritual advice, psychosocial spiritual, it's not simply that there's something wrong with your nervous system or that there's something dysfunctional with your brain. No. Those things are all part of the equation, but actually the bigger overarching problem is the worldview issue.

e to play the Yogi [inaudible:% in:

[CHRIS]

All comes back to that.

[KRISTINE]

It always comes back to that. It always comes back to this dysfunction and the worldview, but I see things shifting. And here's the thing, when you have a global trauma, you have the opportunity for global post-traumatic growth, global post-traumatic growth, not just visual.

[CHRIS]

I'm thinking of the growth opportunity with that. And I think that's another thing that clinicians should be aware of that the yoga that you teach is the trauma informed, and you really emphasize that throughout the training.

[KRISTINE]

Yes. We look through the lens of trauma. We look through the lens of trauma, and so that's saying that there is personal societal global trauma that affects all of us and I never, ever want to. You're always going to trigger people. So I recently learned the term brave space, B R A V E, brave space. We start with safety, we always talk about safe spaces and it's great to create safe spaces, but they're never going to be safe for everybody. So when we talk about this idea of brave space, it's like we can create a space where you can feel brave. And that sense of courage is the fire in the belly, literally in the yoga tradition that can help you with personal as well as social transformation.

[CHRIS]

I haven't heard that before. That's really interesting.

[KRISTINE]

I love it. I learned that recently and I just, I feel like it's such a powerful way of thinking. Actually I learned it from a woman, I'll just give her a little shout out here. I have to remember her last name. I remember the first name. Let's see she does a lot of work with social justice. Her name is Charlie, but I can't remember her last name. I'll look into that.

[CHRIS]

That's okay. You can look it up.

[KRISTINE]

Yes. Anyway.

[CHRIS]

We'll add it in the show notes.

[KRISTINE]

Okay. She's and I believe, I can't remember where she's located, but anyway, she does really good work with social justice and she taught me this idea of brave space, which I love.

[CHRIS]

So can you share any of the research that shows the benefits of yoga on anxiety or depression?

[KRISTINE]

Some of the benefits are just off the top of my head. Obviously there's a lot of it, but some of the best studies have come out of Germany from this guy named, this researcher named Holger Kramer, and he's done numerous meta analysis and systematic reviews on looking at yoga for depression, for anxiety, for mental health in general, for addiction recovery. One of the things I really love, and he said there's a couple of things, so one of the things he says in one study is that the best yoga is the kind of yoga that you'll do.

[CHRIS]

I love that. I've heard that before.

[KRISTINE]

hing from them lately, but in:of duke, I believe it was in:

[CHRIS]

Yes, I was going to say too.

[KRISTINE]

And yet there's nobody, we need somebody in the other world. It's probably not me, but we need somebody in the yoga world who's like Francine Shapiro of EMDR. And what Francine did was just push and push for 20 years of research studies until she got EMDR recognized in the evidence-based registry. And yoga is such a broad word and it means so many things. And there's so much yoga out there that is not trauma informed, that is not accessible, that is not nervous system oriented, that can mess up your nervous system, that can mess up your back. There's so much yoga out there. So yoga in itself will, I think we'll never be in the evidence-based registry, but there are certain people like myself and bunch of other people that are working towards more protocols that could potentially get into the evidence based registering. So like we're going in that direction. But at the moment there's, as a clinician, if you want to refer your clients to yoga, you have to be incredibly discriminating, discerning, I should say about who you're going to refer your clients to because there's so much yoga out there that is not safe emotionally ---

[CHRIS]

Oh my God, yes. The best part of your training was we had to go to different classes and write up a report and checkoff about all the trauma informed and how they set up their classes. Oh my God.

[KRISTINE]

You got it firsthand.

[CHRIS]

I went to, I wanted to go to different places I'd never been. So I was like, "Okay, let me try this out." And the one lady, she stopped the class and just, "Okay, what everybody's doing is wrong." I'm just like, I was taken aback. Now, first of all, there was like 20 people in this little room and I was in the middle. So, and I'm not, no, I didn't have PTSD. I was just like, oh my God, I felt so tense just being there. But then when she's just like ---

[KRISTINE]

It'll give you PTSD.

[CHRIS]

It was.

[KRISTINE]

I mean, I don't want to, I don't want to gossip about or put down the yoga world, but I will say that I've had three different students who were sent to the emergency room in an ambulance after panic attacks from a particular yoga teacher.

[CHRIS]

I imagine so. I could totally see that because she made everybody just do their, what was the, oh gosh, now I can't even think of it. Oh, could just cold breath. I think it was just co breath. It was the elbows. If your elbows aren't tucked in and it has to be perfect. And then she kept touching me during, I was just like, "Dude, stop touching me incorrectly."

[KRISTINE]

Well, that is very common and many yoga teachers haven't been, they're fitness professionals. And you think about fitness professionals and how they bark at their students. So there's a lot of that and that's why, the main thing is that first of all, there's tons of really good yoga going on out there. And even if the teacher hasn't been trained in trauma-informed practices, they could still be really good. So it's more about just going classes, finding who you feel like is safe and if you are going to change anybody, but just find who's safe and then refer because you can't just say, "Go do yoga." Like I hear that all the time. Doctors are like, "Oh, you need to do yoga." If the doctor doesn't know who to refer to, it's a big problem. You're going to re-traumatize someone physically or emotionally and or emotionally. And so it's very important for people for mental health, allied health professionals to really understand what they're doing in referrals and to not just hear who's the good yoga teachers, because often the good yoga teacher in your town is an acrobat and maybe has a fun personality, but they do some kind of acrobatic performance kind of yoga. That's not where you want to send people. It has to be people who really understand. And basically you want to look for a yoga therapist. If you can't find a yoga therapist, they may or may not be trauma-informed.

[CHRIS]

Finding the proper person, I think as clinicians, because we don't want to do harm either with the clients that we see. So we want to be careful who you refer to.

[KRISTINE]

Absolutely. So you have to be informed. I mean, just like the way you would be with when you were referring to other therapists, you don't just go, "Oh, go get psychotherapy to your clients." It's, when you need to refer out, you're like, "I want you to go to this person because this is the person who's going to help you with X, Y, or Z. And that's what you need and I can't do that." So it's the same thing with referring to yoga professionals. You want to feel like it's not the same thing, because you want to keep doing therapy with your client. But if you're wanting to help your client, because you think they need more of that somatic regulation, then you have to find the right yoga person for them.

[CHRIS]

Okay. So can you talk to the benefits of clinician self-care? If they're using yoga with clients, how does that help the clinician?

[KRISTINE]

There is certainly a parallel process going on here and what we hear over and over again is clinician saying to us, "I can't believe how good I feel when I do some yoga with my client." Because we recommend that. We don't recommend you're sitting there and saying, "Okay, do this." But also it's so awkward, it can be awkward in groups, but particularly one-on-one, it's awkward for you to be sitting there and telling the client what to do. Rather what makes more sense and what's more human is, "Hey, let's stand up together because you just told me this really heavy story and that must feel really hard for you. And you may not say it, but you're feeling, and it's hard for me because of the vicarious trauma. So let's stand up and now we're going to do this thing, whatever, and we have all these interventions, maybe it's inhale, doing sun breaths, like take your arms up over your head. As you inhale and exhale and lower them back down, we're going to do that 10 times and as we exhale, we're going to release the story and let it go out there and let it come out from us, let it go out there and let it be absorbed by the love of your dad. If you're somebody who's religious or the earth, if you want to think about it that way, the earth as a recycling program for your emotions. So let's do this 10 times."

And then you are doing this 10 deep breaths with a little bit of our movement and you're also visualizing and letting the story go. And there's a parallel processes. It's essential. I mean, or I shouldn't say essential. It's inevitable is what I mean. It's inevitable. This parallel process is going to influence your nervous system. So instead of having to sit there and hold this tension in your body, from the traumatic stories that you're hearing from your clients, you're able to integrate it as well. So we typically recommend folks use two or three or five minutes at the beginning of the session and then in the middle of the session, when something feels heavy and needs to be integrated, that's another place and then as a closing ritual. And different clinicians do different things based on what works for them. And then many of the people that we've and what feels natural, it feels like it flows with their session. And many of the people we've trained do group sessions where they're doing longer interventions, 20 or 30 minutes of yoga interventions for nervous system regulating.

They do some psycho-educational piece, they do some practices, then they talk about it and integrate it. So there's a, check-in, check-out, maybe some peace in the middle and they're doing 20 or 30 minutes of chair practices or standing or even mat practices. This is such a wonderful way to run groups. I think groups oftentimes are about learning. They're about learning techniques that you can take away. They're about processing and feeling like you're in community. So yoga fits in really well there. So we have lots of people who really love the shorter practices, the brief interventions we like to call them in their clinical sessions, and then there's lots of people who like to do groups once or twice a week. And then they're getting to use yoga as breathing and they feel better after ---

[CHRIS]

I got to tell you, it's amazing. It really is, and especially, because some days I don't always have subtle yoga in my sessions depending on the clients or what's happening that day. But I was like sometimes when I get to do it's a good subtle yoga day and it's really such a difference. It really makes a difference.

[KRISTINE]

Right. So at the end of the day, you've seen three or five or God forbid, seven clients, but people do it. You've seen all these clients after your day and that's the end of the day you don't feel so drained because you've done a few things to recharge throughout the day.

[CHRIS]

And the other part with that too, and it's not always grounding as the energizing piece. And before our interview, I did some of the energizing parts of subtle yoga. And that helps too, because if you're just feeling drained and how am I going to keep going and what did I do five minutes. But even that five minutes is so helpful.

[KRISTINE]

It's amazing how much five minutes can change your day. It's really amazing. And then you start to think, "Five minutes felt good. Maybe I'll feel better."

[CHRIS]

Exactly. I know.

[KRISTINE]

But self-care is an ethical imperative. And self-care in, particularly in the healing professions, I think that the mental health profession is much better at self-care than the allied health world and other people in the allied health world. So I love the fact that mental health clinicians are so focused on self-care. And when you start thinking about your day, like I'm going to get up to just 10 minutes earlier so I can lie on the floor and stretch out a little bit and do some breathing while I'm moving, how much better your day is because of that small time that you took to take care of yourself and how much better you're going to show up for other people?

[CHRIS]

And I think that's so integrative too, with our busy days that I took five minutes, everybody's got five minutes. If you don't have five minutes, that's a problem right there.

[KRISTINE]

Exactly.

[CHRIS]

Because there is, I think, as I've talked to a lot of therapists and counselors over the years, a lot of times it does come up, "Oh, I don't have time. Or how can I do this? My schedule is already busy." But it's that prioritizing, I think we talked about this in episode six when I had Dr. Carla Marie Manly on, and then she mentioned the same thing about it being an imperative. It's like, you have to make time for it in order for you to be most effective as a clinician.

[KRISTINE]

That's right. And why is that not a universal throughout the healthcare system? It blows my mind.

[CHRIS]

Yes. Oh, absolutely. So do you have another teacher training coming up?

[KRISTINE]

Yes, I do. Actually, we began, this year's cohorts are ready, but there's still time to jump in and the trainings will resume in September. So you can look up the information at mahec.org or on, I think it's on my website. If you don't find it on my website, it's definitely on MAHEC website. My website is subtleyoga.com.

[CHRIS]

And what is a takeaway that you could share today that could help listeners who are starting their holistic journey?

[KRISTINE]

Personally, or professionally?

[CHRIS]

Whatever you want to share. There's no right or wrong answer.

[KRISTINE]

What I would share is that when you take some time every day to connect with your breath and connect with the sensations in your body and connect with your higher power, that it helps you not only to know yourself better and have a deeper sense of meaning and purpose, but it helps you to reconnect with your humanity, with that part of you, that pure untouched part of you, that part of you that never changes, that part of you that's eternal, if you like, if you think in those terms. If you don't that's okay. But it helps you to connect with that part of yourself. So my takeaway would be can you spend five minutes every day and all you have, with whatever your favorite contemplative thing is, whatever your favorite movement and stretching is, whatever your favorite breath is, start there. I can teach you a lot more, of course, of course your favorite, whatever your favorite is right now.

Start there and make it a part of your life as common and as natural as brushing your teeth. And you will start, you will begin to see profound changes and you'll find more contentment and feel a greater sense of meaning and purpose and connection to all beings if you do that. So however you're doing it for yourself is part, I see that as part of yoga, whether it's in a religious context or not, I see it as part of the yoga tradition and I hope that your listeners value themselves enough and see the importance of your work, such important work, especially at these times. Then you will take time to take care of yourself

[CHRIS]

And on that, thank you for coming on today, Kristine.

[KRISTINE]

Thanks for having me. It was really fun to talk to a friend. It's great to hear about your work and thank you.

[CHRIS]

And to my listeners. Thank you for tuning in today and being part of this holistic community. Remember to subscribe, rate, and review wherever you get your podcasts. This is Chris McDonald sending each one of you much light and love. Until next time, take care.

If you're loving the show, will you rate review and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform? We just started this and that helps other people find this show. Also, if you're feeling uncertain about your modalities and you want to build your confidence to be your unique self, why don't you to join my free email course, Becoming a Holistic Counselor over holisticcounselingpodcast.com. In my Becoming a Holistic Counselor course, you'll get tips for adding integrative care into your practice, what training you need and don't, and the know-how to attract your ideal holistic clients. If this sounds like the direction you are headed, sign up at holisticcounselingpodcast.com.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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