Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Siddhartha: A Yoga Therapy Perspective, Creating a Safe Space

f) From the chapter, OM:
Siddhartha sat down next to the old man, slowly he started talking. What they had never talked about, he now told him of, of his walk to the city, at that time, of the burning wound, of his envy at the sight of happy fathers, of his knowledge of the foolishness of such wishes, of his futile fight against them. He reported everything, he was able to say everything, even the most embarrassing parts, everything could be said, everything shown, everything he could tell. He presented his wound, also told how he fled today, how he ferried across the water, a childish run-away, willing to walk to the city, how the river had laughed. While he spoke, spoke for a long time, while Vasudeva was listening with a quiet face, Vasudeva's listening gave Siddhartha a stronger sensation than ever before, he sensed how his pain, his fears flowed over to him, how his secret hope flowed over, came back at him from his counterpart. To show his wound to this listener was the same as bathing it in the river, until it had cooled and become one with the river.

Question: An important part of Siddhartha’s healing was when he was finally able to express all of his feelings and to be heard completely. How do you create a safe space for your clients and students to express their feelings while maintaining safe and healthy boundaries both for them and for yourself?

My answer to this question is greatly influenced by the reading I have been doing for the Life Force Yoga training I will take in November at Soul of Yoga.  Amy Weintraub writes about making a safe container.Her ideas include: The client has permission to stop a practice or process and any time. The repetition of a simple ritual at the beginning of each session. (Lighting a candle or a Centering Practice).

In my own yoga therapy practice, I try to explain what I am doing, why I am doing it, and that I am learning.  I also practice active listening and try not to interrupt or fix anything. I tell the client if anything doesn’t feel right just let me know.

In my therapeutic classes I begin with a mudra meditation and a formation of sankalpa. My yoga therapy individual sessions have been following the IYT protocol.

While in session,  I give lots of eye contact, read body language as best I can, and get feedback as I am going on.  I also try to start and end on time. I work in a clean and pleasant room.  Tell them that everything is confidential.  I try to give a lot of positive reinforcement and encouragement during the session.

My boundaries are staying to the time of the session. I do offer my number and let people call or text me if something is wrong.  I feel healthy boundaries is something that I need to work on.  I would like to charge everyone even if it's a dollar for the session for the idea of energy exchange.  But I haven't done that so far.

Most important is that my personal yoga practice contains the elements I use in the Yoga Therapy session and that I believe that what I am doing is helpful. To quote Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore“I'm safe inside this container called me.” I believe when I feel safe and secure they will feel safe and secure.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. It is much appreciated.