You’re stressing me out! The underrated importance of VIBE!

You’re stressing me out! The underrated importance of VIBE!

In long term relationships there is a way we balance each other out. If my partner worries a lot I may become the more free-spirited one. If they are always carefree, I take on the concerned role. Those role types tend to adjust to balance things, but they are not vibe. That’s different.

Vibe energy is the nervous system energy you bring into the room.

Most folks are generally unaware of this energetic presence unless they’ve been made conscious of it. After that, it’s something they can’t stop noticing!

Lara Land blog - The underrated importance of VIBE! - girl blowing bubble
The way our nervous system impacts others unless they are ultra conscious of it and can control it, is that we match energy. If your stress response is even low grade activated, I can feel that. If you are super and genuinely calm no matter what I throw at you, I will eventually chill out too.

Being in the presence of someone who has their nervous system down regulated is something you may not until now have been able to note consciously, but if you’ve had the experience, you will never forget.

It is why folks wait in line to see Amma.  It’s why I’m obsessed with Lama Rod. And it’s why I take my best photographs with Simon Keough. (Have you seen the new ones on my site?!)

It’s also the most important element to get right as a trauma informed yoga teacher.

It doesn’t matter what poses you instruct or breathing techniques you teach if there’s something in you that’s rushed or unsettled, it will be felt in the trauma informed yoga room and your students will not be able to truly calm down.

This is why I stress the importance to my trauma informed yoga teacher trainees of keeping up a regular yoga and/or meditation practice which sets our average nervous system at a more regulated place AND to do whatever practice works for them to regulate themselves in the moments before they walk in the yoga room.

Regulating practices include Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing), self-touch like a hand on the heart and/or belly, shaking out, sun bathing and many more. Trauma sensitive yoga teachers should practice working with different techniques and testing what works for them before teaching others. Understanding our nervous systems is critical to becoming skilled teachers.

Free nervous system regulating meditations are available on my YouTube page. I also do this work one-on-one with my coaching clients and teach it as part of the Three and a Half Acres Yoga Trauma Sensitive Teacher Training.

Redefining Resilience

Redefining Resilience

When you ask folks how they define resilience they will often describe a person who is able to bounce back. Devika Shankar, today’s guest on the Beyond Trauma podcast asks the question, “what are they bouncing back to?” a question which reframes the way we look at the whole picture, not just of the individual but of their surroundings and the systems they are embedded in. 

It’s an important and profound question that has been popping up around yoga and mindfulness practices especially as they have moved into schools, prisons, and the workplace. It’s important for yoga teachers and especially trauma sensitive yoga teachers to ask ourselves if the work we are doing is being used to make people more comfortable in situations that they should be uncomfortable in and causing them to resist and push less for change.

This is one possible outcome folks suggest can come of calming practices. Whether it has resulted from yoga, or trauma sensitive yoga and meditation is up for debate. I haven’t seen it but I have seen other problematic behaviors arise from these practices which is why it is so important to have the right teachers and the right intentions when approaching any practice, sport, teaching, or even hobby. 

When we look at resilience, what we want to focus on is our ability not necessarily to come back but to move forward into an active space in which we can collaborate with others to move the dial on the systems which are causing so many to experience harm. When your resilience is for a purpose it brings your life meaning and in a beautiful circle brings more resilience and capacity. 

You might ask yourself not just what you need to survive and thrive, but what are you surviving and thriving for?

Concurrently, you’ll want to be looking at your stress reduction and nervous system regulation practices to honestly assess if they are working in pursuit of your purpose. This is the central question of trauma sensitive yoga and a question I see penetrating the general yoga population more and more since the pandemic. We are finally realizing we need support not competition! 

Take a listen to Devika Shanka, transnational feminist, organizer, and advocate on iTunes or Spotify to learn more about this process and consider joining me for the Women’s Realignment Retreat October 7th-9th to delve deep into systems of support and emergence.