Episode 74: Why Trauma Recovery Must Include Somatic Healing with Kaity Rose Holsapple
Episode 74: Why Trauma Recovery Must Include Somatic Healing with Kaity Rose Holsapple
Trauma severs the connection between our brains and our bodies, yet so much of Western culture encourages healing only from the chin up. On this week’s episode, Kaity Rose Holsapple, a Somatic Yoga Therapist, explains the many reasons why we cannot fully heal from trauma without addressing the healing within our bodies.
Check out the Light After Trauma website for transcripts, other episodes, Alyssa’s guest appearances, and more at: www.lightaftertrauma.com
Alyssa Scolari [00:23]:
Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of the Light After Trauma podcast. I am your host, Alyssa Scolari, and we’ve got another awesome guest episode today which I’m so excited for. We have with us Kaitlyn Rose-Holsapple. Now through the journey of healing and Kaity’s own PTSD, she channeled and created what’s called somatic yoga therapy, which I can’t wait to learn all about today, and somatic yoga therapy is an integrative healing art form that gently and effectively alchemizes trauma into soul power. She has walked countless individuals through their journeys of healing, trauma, anxiety and depression from within. Kaity supports her clients and students to connect with the innate wisdom and intuition of their bodies. This wisdom is present in every body and helps you to organically heal and live in integrity with your soul. Kaity firmly believes that you are your own healer. The somatic yoga therapy process offers you tools, support, guidance, and space for alchemizing blockages and trauma into your greatest gifts and superpowers, but at the end of the day, only you hold the magic of your own healing potential, and this magical healing force lives inside your body awaiting reclamation.
Alyssa Scolari [01:46]:
So I am really looking forward to this conversation and again, I’m just going to thank Kaity for her grace in rescheduling multiple times, so hi Kaity. Thank you for being here and thank you for your patience with me.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [01:59]:
Absolutely. I am so excited that we are able to connect here and now.
Alyssa Scolari [02:05]:
Me too, and I was doing a lot of reading on your website and just reading your bio, there’s so many of these phrases that pop out to me. So of course the first question that I want to ask you is can you give us a little bit of backstory? What exactly led you to the place that you are now? I know you mentioned in your bio that you have PTSD, so if you wouldn’t mind like elaborating a little bit, only what you’re comfortable with of course.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [02:36]:
Totally. So really what brought me … It was kind of like first being brought into the world of spirituality and yoga and then diving more deeply into psychology and trauma healing from there and what really drew me into especially yoga practices was just how disconnected I was from my body and I went through probably most of my life since a pretty early childhood event that I only just started to remember really recently only have these memories come back in the past couple of months. I realized I just have been dissociated and really out of body for so long in my life and yoga is a practice that really started to bring me back home to being more comfortable in my own skin and feeling actually like one of my first in my body moments that I remember was in a restorative yoga class and it was me just accessing my parasympathetic nervous system state but it was the first time I had done that in probably 14 years and I was in awe and shocked and didn’t have really the words or language for it at the time but I was like, “Whoa. Something’s really powerful here for me to continue to explore.”
Kaity Rose Holsapple [03:57]:
And so that’s really what brought me in and then starting to look deeper and connect more deeply with my body is also what started to really help me unravel some of the early childhood trauma and then trauma from later on in life as well and it’s been quite a powerful journey.
Alyssa Scolari [04:19]:
Yeah. You touched on so many things there, but I’m going to jump right to can you actually give the listeners a little idea on what restorative yoga is because friends, if you have not done restorative yoga, I’m going to need you to drop everything and find a class. Because it is surely the best thing ever. So can you please tell us what that is?
Kaity Rose Holsapple [04:50]:
Yeah. So usually when we think about yoga, we think of a Vinyasa flow class or core power, very heated, fast, lots of breath work and movements and restorative yoga is really quite the opposite of that. A lot of uses of blankets and pillows and props and putting yourself into these really comfortable positions and shapes where you feel super supported and hopefully are able to drop into again that parasympathetic nervous system state, rest and digest and really a big intention of it is to create almost like a floating feeling in the body, just being really held and relaxed and for certain bodies, it’s like, “Yes. So, so, so powerful,” and you also now that for especially those of us survivors who have more of the hyper vigilant lean, it can be actually more challenging than going to a Vinyasa yoga class because it’s so hard for many people to learn how to really slow down and drop in and let themselves be held. It’s like one of the hardest things for our nervous systems to do sometimes and so medicinal, so powerful.
Alyssa Scolari [06:06]:
Yes, and you make an absolute excellent point, which is restorative yoga requires a lot more stillness and that can be as we know very, very difficult for lots of trauma survivors. So while yes, absolutely, I highly recommend restorative yoga, but take that with a grain of salt because you want to be careful to not overwhelm yourself. Sometimes when we are still, it’s hard enough to be still but then sometimes when we are still, things come up and we can be flooded with flashbacks or body memories or what have you. So it’s also like a really important point and then …
Alyssa Scolari [06:48]:
So the other thing that you had said is that you had felt so disconnected from your body and that is really important because that is what trauma causes us to do. Trauma causes us to disconnect and we are essentially walking around with our heads detached from our bodies and I was listening to a podcast interview that was done with Bessel van der Kolk who is the author of The Body Keeps the Score and one of the leading experts in trauma and he said, which really struck a chord with me, that Western culture is so disembodied, and I felt like that it really struck a chord because I’m like, “Yeah. So much about it is like he said from the chin up. It’s talk therapy, it’s taking medications, and that’s it.” But we tend to neglect the somatic experiences that are happening in our body which I think are vital for healing. What are some of your thoughts on that?
Kaity Rose Holsapple [08:03]:
Yeah. I love that you brought in that piece around culture because that feels … It’s so true, it’s in the air that we breathe, it’s in the food that we eat. In the most part if you’re a Westerner listening to this which I would guess a lot of the audience listening to this is from maybe the United States or more similar cultures to the United States, it’s like … That’s just the norm for so many of us and [inaudible 00:08:28] is to actually disassociate and to live more in the realm of kind of the thinking mind rather than the feeling and the being midst and so that’s part of why yoga has been so healing and is so healing for so many people because it’s the opposite of that, and also all these somatic therapies that we see emerging and having so much power nowadays are helping our Western bodies really, really learn how to access the state of healing.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [09:04]:
Because healing isn’t able to happen on that thinking level of consciousness. It’s incompatible with the healing state when we’re in our thinking mind. It’s just not really … There’s not compatibility there, because healing has to happen in the present moment and thinking automatically is taking you out of the present moment. So dropping into the somatic state is actually dropping into a presence practice that helps you be with what’s here and now, and that’s the only time healing can happen is in the here and in the now.
Alyssa Scolari [09:39]:
I love that. It’s so important.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [09:41]:
Alyssa Scolari [09:42]:
So important. So now how is … Because you created somatic yoga therapy. Can you describe what exactly is that? How is that different from standard therapy? Or standard yoga I should say?
Kaity Rose Holsapple [09:59]:
Absolutely. Yeah, so yoga therapy in itself is kind of this emerging field. Not a lot of people have heard of it generally, right? And it’s this practice of really modifying different aspects of the yoga tradition, including the asana which is what a lot of us think of when we think about yoga, the different postures and shapes we put our bodies in but there’s also like a whole world of other depth there as well. We do pranayama breath work practices, energy practices. There’s a whole lot there and it’s about really customizing those practices for the individual at hand. So rather than you going to a yoga class where the whole group is taught the same sequence, this is like what’s really happening, Alyssa, for you and your body today, and creating a specified practice, yoga, meditation, pranayama, asana, et cetera, that’s just 100% completely to support you in regaining balance, and it’s really, really beautiful, really, really powerful, can sometimes feel a little bit allopathic from my perspective, a little bit like Westernized in some ways and really a huge effort of bringing this into the hospitals and the medical system.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [11:21]:
Really beautiful, really powerful, and so with somatic yoga therapy, it includes that aspect of yoga therapy but it’s dropping a little bit of the ways that we can sometimes label this is the yoga practice for anxiety or this is what you do for high blood pressure and really tuning into actually what each individual body is guiding and needing which actually can look very, very different, even inside those diagnoses of like … You might have anxiety, I might have anxiety, but actually what we really need might be completely different on more of those subtle levels. So yeah, it’s really accessing the felt sense space, that present moment space of connecting with sensations in the body and then supporting the release of blocked energy so that you can regain balance and heal from within, inside out. Rather than again, what our culture can be so addicted to is I feel like crap or shit, sorry if your podcast doesn’t like swears.
Alyssa Scolari [12:23]:
Oh no, be careful on this podcast. It’s fine.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [12:25]:
Okay, great. I feel like shit. Tell me what to do to make it better. Right? Just I need someone to tell me what I need to do. It’s dropping that need for outer authority and really learning how to access your own inner guide, your own inner intuition, and the ability that we all have, which is to know what you need. To know what you need in order to heal.
Alyssa Scolari [12:51]:
I love that so much. It’s important because everybody’s healing is so individualized. Like you said, we both might have anxiety but what we might need to heal may be completely different. But I also love that because it’s very empowering, and trauma often leaves us feeling disempowered. So it’s truly taking your healing into your own hands, and knowing that you already have the answers to the questions that you have and the support that you seek is all within you.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [13:27]:
Yeah. And this is really hard for someone who’s survived trauma, right? Because you ask someone who’s been through a traumatic experience even the question of what do you want to do today or what do you like, and sometimes it’s so hard to answer those simple questions of making those choices of what do I like, what do I want to do, because we can be really fragmented from that wisdom. Again, that comes back to that sense of being more in our mental body rather than in our physical body which is the realm that can actually tell us what we want, what we like, what feels good, what needs to happen. You can’t do that from the mental space. It just can’t happen from that brain space.
Alyssa Scolari [14:07]:
Right, we need to be mind-body connected. We need to be absolutely grounded in our bodies in order to be able to figure that out and answer so many of those questions that … And those questions are important when it comes to friendships, relationships, just social interactions in general, but even other things like job interviews. One of the first questions that we ask people when we are interviewing them for a position is, “Tell me about yourself.” But when you have a traumatized individual who has been walking around just in the mental space and has really done no work somatically or in their bodies and is disconnected, how can we expect them to answer that question well? So this is so important for all facets of functioning I think.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [14:55]:
Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Yeah, well that really points to just how connected every single area of our life is. We cannot compartmentalize things in the way again that our culture has really trained us to do for so long. It’s like, “I’m going to have my work life here and then my romantic life and then here’s my friend life,” and really it’s just like how you show up in these different areas, it’s all so, so connected with your wiring, with your nervous system and it’s really powerful to start really looking and doing the work around and in these different realms.
Alyssa Scolari [15:34]:
Yes. It’s incredible. It’s so powerful. Now you mentioned … I cannot remember if this was the exact phrase that you used, but something … You said something like … Was it blocked energies?
Kaity Rose Holsapple [15:48]:
Alyssa Scolari [15:50]:
Can you explain, can you elaborate on what that is?
Kaity Rose Holsapple [15:55]:
Alyssa Scolari [15:56]:
Because I feel like that’s very important.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [15:58]:
So let’s talk about this because it is really important. This is like totally how I see things now, it’s like … Blocked energies, you can think of trauma as like this spectrum with most severe being like actual diagnosis, like PTSD, CPTSD and just like the very intense symptoms that you think of with trauma, like flashbacks and very, very obvious forms of dissociation, depersonalization, those sort of aspects, right? And then we have all of these other different forms of trauma that show up in really, really subtle and sometimes a little insidious forms and I would say the spectrum is the spectrum of blocked energy. Where trauma and blocked energy can really be synonymously used because what is happening when there’s a trauma in the system, in your energy body, there becomes kind of a knot that happens where the energy ties itself up and is no longer flowing, so there is stagnation that happens, and when that happens, of course you’re cut off from your own energy flow, so there’s not as much feeling of aliveness, sensation even. This can create numbness, a cutting off from different areas of the body.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [17:19]:
Also just feeling like really lethargic, really tired, and so looking at and thinking of trauma as not just something that happens in the physical body but actually something that’s really affecting the energetics, and a great way of looking at this is also … If we come back to what happens in the breath when there’s then trauma and how our breath physiologically starts to change because the breath is kind of the gateway between the physical and the energetic body because there’s a connection here between we can have conscious control of our breath if we just all take a deep breath right here and now, you can choose to consciously do that, and you know that you’re always going to be breathing. Even if you’re not telling yourself to, right? So there’s this really deep connection between the breath, which in yoga is really deeply connected with the energy body, with their prana, life force, and the subconscious mind which is the realm that stores traumas and so we just think about in a traumatic experience, for example something shocking happens and you gasp and your breath is kind of stuck up here and then that’s kind of how the energy can start to get stuck and all of a sudden, or actually over quite a period of time, we develop patterns such as just chest breathing and no longer have access to a deep diaphragmatic breath anymore.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [18:47]:
And so that’s kind of a more physiological way we can start to see the energy body being really affected is just by looking at changes that happen in breath and breathing, but also it’s happening in this really subtle way that’s not perceptible really to the human eye but is really connected with felt sense, sensations, and what you notice as sensation in your body. And so starting to work with somatics is also taking you deep into the realm of energetics and the energy body in a pretty powerful, really, really powerful way.
Alyssa Scolari [19:21]:
Yeah. Yeah, so this process basically goes hand and hand with energy work. Because I hear this phrase so often, right? Energy work, energy work, and I feel like it’s now becoming more and more linked to trauma. It’s all energy.
Alyssa Scolari [19:37]:
Now I want to take this one step further and ask you your thoughts on when we have chronic energy blocks, you named some of the ways in which that can show up, but … And I feel like I already know the answer to this because you also … I heard the podcast interview that you had done about the link between rosacea and trauma. So is it your opinion or your belief that when these energy blocks become chronic and constant, they can lead into more serious illnesses, autoimmune diseases, things like that?
Kaity Rose Holsapple [20:21]:
Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Yes. Yeah, so it’s really fascinating to look at this. In yoga, we have something called the kosha model which is talking about the different bodies. Like we have our physical body, we have this physical body that is blood, muscle, bone, skin, and then there are other bodies as well, like one of which is the breath body which holds your prana, your energy, and then you also have your mind, the body of your mind which is composed of your thoughts and your emotions and you also have the body of your beliefs and your belief system which you may or may not know, those of you listening, like some of those are not always what we would consciously want and choose to believe. We have beliefs that are really, really rooted in our childhood, especially the first seven years of our lives and our culture and things that we might not actually really want to believe in the subconscious mind are beliefs stored up, right? And so all of these bodies are really always intermingling and influencing one another.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [21:28]:
So an example of this is I can have this belief, I might not even know I have it. I could have this belief let’s say for example around what a body is supposed to look like, what a beautiful female body is supposed to look like. And it might not be consciously what I think beauty is, but I have this belief that I’m only beautiful if I am only 120 pounds. It’s like something that doesn’t even necessarily have to make a lot of cognitive sense, but we have these. So let’s say –
Alyssa Scolari [22:01]:
Right, it’s not something that has to be backed by science. It’s just if that’s your belief, it’s your belief.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [22:06]:
Right yeah. And you might not even really know it’s there, which I think is also something really, really interesting. Because these beliefs that we have really run our lives in unconscious ways until we start to really see them. That’s one of the definitions of yoga is bringing the unconscious to your consciousness, and once things become conscious, that’s healing in itself, right? Just being able to see that okay, this is here, and it’s not exactly in line with what my soul really believes, but it’s here. This is part of my conditioning, right?
Kaity Rose Holsapple [22:39]:
So we have this belief, let’s use the one that I gave an example on, which is like I’m only beautiful if I am 120 pounds or something kind of specific and based around your body like that. And then connected with that belief, there’s all of the thoughts and emotions that we have, which might be looking at yourself in the mirror and feeling shame. It might be those negative thoughts that cycle in your head, all the ways that you tell yourself you’re not good enough, you’re not beautiful enough. A lot of I feel more New Age spirituality works in this level of affirmation, where we just start to tell ourselves, “I am beautiful. I love myself.” But again, it stays in that mental level, so it’s never really becoming true and real in your body, in your bones.
Alyssa Scolari [23:30]:
Right, we’re never really absorbing it.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [23:34]:
Yeah. Exactly, even though those affirmations can feel really helpful in the moment, it’s not actually getting to the root of what’s really there.
Alyssa Scolari [23:42]:
Thank you, [inaudible 00:23:43], I am a little bit … I’m not anti-affirmations, like yes please hype yourself up, but I am just like, “It’s not enough.” And I like that you’re saying that because when we sort of say things like, “Well you just need to do your affirmations,” I think it takes away from it makes people feel like, “Oh, what’s wrong with me? Like I’m doing my affirmations, I literally have you are beautiful on my mirror and I say it every time when I wake up,” and it’s like it’s not enough because you’re not fully integrating it. Like it’s just in your brain and then it kind of leaves. So I love that you said that, but you go on. I didn’t mean to totally interrupt.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [24:24]:
No, I love that too, and it’s like also … What about all of the parts inside of you that don’t believe that and don’t feel that way and now you’re just kind of overriding those and not really attending to what’s really there, like what’s the trauma there that those parts are really holding? Because there’s a … Even though it feels shitty, there’s a wisdom to those thoughts. Like there’s something in there that’s actually really important to extract and to move towards, I really believe that. So we have this level of belief, then we have this level of thought and emotion that can manifest from our beliefs, right? So the beliefs are very, very deep, very, very unconscious, and then they can start to manifest into thoughts and into emotion which directly affects the energetics of the body. Think of the last time you had a negative thought about yourself, like, “I look ugly,” or whatever that thought is for you, it’s going to change how you’re breathing. It changes your breath patterns.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [25:23]:
So that’s again a more obvious way that the energy starts to change. But it’s also going to change the posture, like how you hold yourself, which again is going to affect the flow of chi, the flow of energy through the body. It’s going to affect the felt sense, you might have this heavy, dropped feeling in your belly which again that’s a way the energy body is communicating to you is through sensations. And then eventually years of me holding my body in this slumped position of this energy communicating in this way and me not actually being able to discharge it, being able to let it flow through me, being able to affirm and acknowledge it but in a way that allows it to fully, fully complete what it’s trying to do rather than what we commonly do is, “I don’t like this, eew, icky, I’m going to move away from it and try to shove it down.” Right?
Alyssa Scolari [26:20]:
Exactly. I’m going to [inaudible 00:26:22]. Yeah.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [26:23]:
Yeah, yeah. It’s what we are commonly doing. And again, this might not be conscious. You might know consciously that that’s not super great for you and we still do it and it’s just like a habit. So after long periods of time of these avoidance patterns, the energy gets stuck in these different regions and can manifest as skin issues, digestive issues, chronic pain. Pain is hugely connected with this. Anyone who has chronic low back pain, I’ve struggled a lot with jaw pain. Like this is just so rooted and connected here, and then of course other forms of disease and imbalance start to form as well. So that’s kind of like the pathway of how this can happen is starting with for example a traumatic experience that imprints this really deep belief. That belief starts to change how we think and how we feel inside, which influences the sensations and the breath which influences our body.
Alyssa Scolari [27:25]:
Okay. Okay. That makes a lot of sense to me. Yeah, and I 100% believe that. I was just like … I know at least for the work that I do, every single person who comes into my office, it’s so … I love the somatic work. Like it is so important because yeah, I do believe that so much pain, chronic pain, back pain. Like I had a lot of jaw pain too. I actually went to the dentist a few months back and the dentist was like, “Do you grind your teeth?” And I was like, “No.” And I was so detached from my body, I was very stressed out, we had just moved, and I couldn’t even feel. I was so out of touch with my body. In the six months between my dentist appointments, I had been grinding my teeth so much that I actually have permanent damage and I didn’t even know but the second that he said something to me, I was sitting in his chair, had not even left the office yet, I felt all the pain and all the tension in my jaw. And I’m like, “Wow.”
Alyssa Scolari [28:41]:
So I think that’s just like a great example of how disembodied we can become without even truly knowing it, which is why this information and this practice I think has to be very, very intentional, all the time. Not just when you’re feeling extra down that day. Would you agree with that?
Kaity Rose Holsapple [29:02]:
Yeah. Absolutely, and a huge part of the somatic yoga therapy practice is building relationship and awareness of your body. Even just … If you’re wanting to get started with more of this work, doing a daily body scan practice where you’re just making contact with all of the different areas of the body, that’s really, really helpful for this part of the nervous system that … Like your story, not even realizing how much tension you hold in your jaw, it’s like … There’s a reason the nervous system doesn’t want to go there and it’s because maybe there’s something there that feels a little bit like scary or too much or it’s holding onto something, right? And so there are reasons that we check out from these different areas of the body, even ones that are causing us pain and oftentimes that quality of dissociating from different body regions is really connected with the pain receptors and they get louder and louder so that we start to listen and hear what they’re really trying to say. So if someone who has chronic pain comes to me, I know that there’s often also been chronic numbness before that pain even started.
Alyssa Scolari [30:14]:
Yes. Yes. You put that so beautifully. Now you also mentioned this concept, soul power. What does that mean? Like can you explain that? I love it, like soul power, yes, but what exactly does that mean?
Kaity Rose Holsapple [30:34]:
Yeah. That is you living in alignment with the strength and the truth and the energy that only comes from the space of your soul. So this is beyond any trauma that you have experienced, this is your essence that is untouchable, can’t get sick, can’t die, lives on forever. This is the part of you that is always 100% pure, sparkly, bright. Like it’s your youness, everybody’s soul is completely like a unique expression. I like to think of people’s different souls as really connected with different plants or different spaces in nature that have … There’s different qualities to them, right? Like someone might have a very waterfall, sweet, nourishing, grounded soul. Someone might have more of a fiery quality in them, and so it’s unique, it’s connected with your personality, but it’s beyond that and trauma severs your connection with that. Severs your ability for your soul, the energy gets blocked, and then that can no longer flow in your body and so what often happens for traumatized individuals, it’s not that your soul ever goes anywhere. It’s not that you lose it, though that’s something that we feel right? If you’ve ever had that sense of soul searching or really deep longing to feel like yourself again, like that’s what you are longing for.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [32:03]:
What happens with trauma is that the soul can become displaced from the body and it kind of starts to just hover outside of the body or outside of the energy field because trauma is so connected with death experiences or feeling like, “Oh my god, I am going to die. I think I’m going to die here.” It doesn’t matter what type of trauma it was, there’s some sort of fear for your life that happens and just like in death, the soul leaves the body. So you might not actually have died, you might not have actually died, but some processes and parts of you think that maybe you had or you’re about to or it’s going to happen and in order to protect this space inside of you that is the most powerful, beautiful and whole aspect of yourself, it’s an act of protection that gets kind of pushed away. There’s a lot of different reasons for that.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [32:56]:
It might feel like it’s really scary to be my full soulful self. It might feel like too intense in some ways and so the soul becomes kind of disconnected or dissociated. We build up walls and then forget that it’s even actually really there but a huge part of the somatic yoga therapy process is detangling these energetic blocks so that the energy can start to move more freely in the body, discharging energy that’s just not yours. Like it’s not really in alignment with you and who you are, it’s heavy, it’s stagnant, it’s like … Maybe it belongs to past versions of yourself, but it’s not your present moment’s energy, and then when there’s more of that space and flow inside of you, the soul gets to come back home, and all of a sudden, you feel like, “Wow. I’m having these moments where I really feel like me. I really feel alive, I really feel like myself.”
Kaity Rose Holsapple [33:51]:
And that is the process of alchemizing trauma into soul power and bringing your soul back [inaudible 00:33:59] in an embodied way where you don’t have to meditate, which meditation can actually be kind of a way of dissociating a lot of the time. When we meditate, we meditate to access that soul space. In order to access that sense of feeling one with the universe, whatever language you use, but through this process, that becomes just how you live your life. You feel connected with that space and you don’t have to go anywhere in order to do that. It just becomes woven into your embodied experience.
Alyssa Scolari [34:31]:
Yeah. This is incredible. I’m learning so much, so I have to ask, so the somatic yoga therapy. Is that specifically a different type of training or is it that you became certified in yoga or yoga or yoga therapy and then sort of developed your somatic yoga therapy? How did that work?
Kaity Rose Holsapple [34:57]:
Yes, yeah. Yeah, so I did undergo my yoga therapy training, and during that process, had this pretty … Actually probably at the end of this process, had a really intense traumatic experience, a sexual trauma with a former colleague, a former friend of mine and it wasn’t like the first time I had been sexually violated by any means, but it was the first conscious time that I had where I was really, really conscious and aware of what was happening and so that really launched me into this journey of healing PTSD which all of that experience very much triggered my early childhood stuff that I had not really …
Kaity Rose Holsapple [35:37]:
I hadn’t had the resources or tools to look at up until that point, and so that experience really launched me, even though I was already working with trauma, from this more allopathic or yoga therapy lens, I’ve been working in that way, this launched me deeper into the world and realm of somatics because that was what was working for me and that was what was healing me. So somatic yoga therapy really came from that process of me doing my own healing journey and there are different forms of somatic yoga therapies that I have had experience with from somatic experiencing to sensory motor to Hakomi and I think they’re all so beautiful and so powerful, and for me, bringing the yoga therapy piece in was like the missing link there and it’s just what my body was naturally doing because I am such a spiritually inclined person and I really believe that that … Like your soul is your greatest resource for healing. That’s the one in you who can digest fricking anything that’s happened. No matter how heavy it is, that’s the part of you that can handle it. No other parts are able to be with the traumas in that same way and so yeah.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [36:57]:
That’s really where this work was born from is just my own body started to create it and I was already working with clients and so I just started naturally bringing in what was arising and unfolding for me and it was having such great results that I just continued and now I’m training others in this process of somatic yoga therapy. I have a whole yearlong training that I do for people to connect with this work more deeply and learn how to weave into their healing modalities, whatever it is that they’re doing. Whether that’s yoga therapy, yoga teaching, psychotherapy, massage therapy, it really is so complementary to so many different healing modalities and that’s what I’m doing now is training others to help get this work out there.
Alyssa Scolari [37:45]:
That is amazing. So that’s … I mean one, thank you very much for sharing and for being so vulnerable because it’s like that is ultimately, and while we never wish trauma of any nature on anyone, it’s like that catapulted you into now being this driving force for helping, now you’re training people who can then go on to help other people and that is so empowering. So empowering. So you are … You’re training other people and are you also working with people one-on-one, hosting retreats? What else is there to that?
Kaity Rose Holsapple [38:29]:
Yeah, so I do work with people one-on-one and do somatic yoga therapy work for helping my clients digest trauma into more soul power and also access deeper states of pleasure and purpose and meaning in their lives after a traumatic experience because that can feel so severed. Definitely have a draw and attract a lot of women who have survived sexual traumas and want to start really metabolizing those so that they can feel more empowered in their sexuality again, more connected with their sexuality and with their essential self because that is so important for so many women and so disconnected, just like we talked about you with the jaws, like we can think of the same area sexually and there’s a lot of numbness, there’s a lot of pain, there’s a lot of shutdown. So I do work one-on-one with people in that region, in that area, and then yeah, I run retreats and workshops and have a lot of different free resources too on my website that I would invite any listeners who kind of feels connected with this work to check that out. There is a free inner sanctuary practice which is a whole I think 45 minute practice where I guide you through some of the foundations of what we’re doing in somatic yoga therapy and more of just like you get to experience it within, inside your own self, so that’s on my website.
Alyssa Scolari [40:03]:
And your website is hertemplehealing.com, right?
Kaity Rose Holsapple [40:08]:
Yes. Yep. You got it.
Alyssa Scolari [40:10]:
Okay. I got it. Fantastic. So for the listeners out there, you can just go ahead and you know what to do. Go right to the show notes and you will find the link there. Strongly encourage you to check that out. I will definitely be utilizing all of the resources on there because I love this topic and I love this stuff and I am very passionate about it. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise. It is crucial for trauma survivors. It’s so crucial, so thank you, thank you, thank you for your time today.
Kaity Rose Holsapple [40:45]:
Thank you for having me on, Alyssa. I’m just delighted to have talked with you.
Alyssa Scolari [40:50]:
Alyssa Scolari [40:52]:
Thanks for listening everyone. For more information, please head over to lightaftertrauma.com, or you can also follow us on social media, on Instagram. We are @lightaftertrauma and on Twitter it is @lightafterpod. Lastly, please head over to patreon.com/lightaftertrauma to support our show. We are asking for five dollars a month, which is the equivalent to a cup of coffee at Starbucks. So please head on over again, that’s patreon.com/lightaftertrauma. Thank you and we appreciate your support.