with Charlotte Watts 500RYT SYT (Yoga Alliance UK)

Charlotte runs various yoga teacher training events across the UK for yoga teachers wanting to deepen their student experience, specifically for teaching yoga to those with chronic stress, stress-related conditions, burnout, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and in recovery from illness, with the most in-depth training being longer modules for Yogacampus, the foremost yoga teacher training resource in the UK. Please check back as dates are added regularly.

As Charlotte is a Senior Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, her workshops and retreats also count as CPD hours.


Yogacampus logoYoga Campus, London

Teaching Yoga for Stress and Burnout – with Leah Barnett

Yogacampus dates (3 days):

Stress is a major part of 21st century living, with the World Health Organization estimating that by 2020, stress-related disorders will be the second leading cause of disabilities in the world. This epidemic is an underlying cause of low energy, anxiety, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), loss of sex drive, insomnia, depression, tooth-grinding, high blood pressure, skin problems, infertility, weight gain and heart disease.

Yoga and meditation practices offer a very real (and well-researched) method to allow heightened body systems to calm back down and teach individuals tools to self-soothe. The aim of yoga to ‘still the mind’ through body awareness and connection, intercepting the chattering monkey of the analytical left brain, so dominant in Western cultures.

Burnout is a term used to describe the emotional and physical collapse that can occur after long-term or chronic stress. At this point where the mind-body is on ‘constant alert’, teachers need to be able to guide students into a sense of safety and stillness so that they can notice and be with intense sensations without exacerbating reactive tendencies.

This course will explore how psycho-social stress – the ‘neck-up’, ruminating stress we tend to get stuck in in modern societies – can affect people and how the modern body needs special consideration for the way the average student lives their lives. You will understand how to teach yoga in a way which is effective, gentle and appropriate to the individual with stressed body systems, their particular responses, energetics, mind-sets and postural considerations. Grounding, mindful and somatic work will be explored to help you promote healing, energy and positive change in your teaching.

 

COURSE CONTENTS

The themes in these days will be woven throughout the entire course, both in discussion and experientially.

The physiology of stress:

  • Explanations of psycho-social stress; the different levels of stress – ‘normal’ stress through to burnout and adrenal fatigue.
  • Physical effects of stress, how this affects asana – and how to gauge levels.
  • Emotional and psychological effects of stress and how this affects attention, reactions, control issues etc.

Stress within yoga therapy:

  • The yoga model of healing with an overview of prana and how practices can help energy flow freely.
  • Guidance for teachers on how to direct students in understanding the spiritual relevance of yoga and their illness.
  • Where the latest neuro-scientific research fits in with the ‘stilling the mind’ effects of yoga, mindfulness and meditation.
  • What ‘resilience’ means in relation to yoga and compassion; how mindfulness within our practice helps to cultivate this equanimity and ‘grace under pressure’ in those reactive to stress.

The experience of the student with chronic stress, adrenal fatigue and burnout:

  • How it feels to move and experience asana and attention with pain, intense emotional reactions.
  • The effects of trauma (shock and developmental) on the primal body, how this can manifest and how it needs to be approached to prevent relapse.
  • The importance of identity – how the teacher can help the student not attach to the identity of suffering in chronic illnesses.

Considerations of teaching to students with mind-body stress:

  • The necessity of compassion (ahimsa and karuna) and deep listening within our practice, our own bodies and our world, to be able to work with people’s needs on an individual level.
  • Working with the yamas and the gunas as guides for working with chronically heightened energy and mind-sets.
  • Unhelpful samskaras in stress and the modern world; examination of personality types, how this can work against recovery and how yoga can help.
  • Teaching language; using mindfulness, creativity and compassion to encourage practice with a soft mind and body – with humour to release and create a positive sensory experience!

Stress in the physical body:

  • How the stressed and fatigued body feels; helping the teacher to understand the particular sensations, reactions and barriers that arise.
  • Mindfulness (and within physical practice) to help ‘anchor in the moment’, ‘pacing’ and the ‘doing less-is-more’ approach. Why we need to ‘be’ and not ‘do’; right effort, effortless effort and aparigraha, asteya and santosha over ambition and achieving. Treating the body as a friend.
  • Common stress-induced breath patterns and how to allow change without creating further stress; observing key stress breath signs and how to respond.
  • Belly connection; centring and moving from the hara for reconnecting. Body fluidity and neuroplasticity and how stress can create hardening, viscosity and lack of adaptation
  • Skull-sacrum polarity to free mind-body flow, open the yin cooling base of the brain and encourage easy communication between cranium and pelvis for nervous system regulation and self-soothing abilities.

Specific therapeutic yoga tools:

  • Recognising that our culture continually consumes and ‘fills up.’ Understanding how yoga can provide a space for emptying out, releasing and letting go.
  • The role of sound and vibration within a healing practice, how this can be simply woven within asana to allow the breath to release – and as a formal part of teaching.
  • Exploration of counting own breath pace, mantra etc to still the chatter of the left brain.
  • The difficulties of meditation for the stressed and how to hold, guide and facilitate; the internally critical tendencies of those with heightened stress responses – thanking the negative voices!

Teaching Yoga for ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Yogacampus dates:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS aka ‘ME’) is an exhaustive condition known to have stress and its immune effects as key contributing factors. By understanding its common symptoms and the implications for those it affects in the changes of creating and using energy, you will learn how to help students safely regain strength and find new ways of coping with these symptoms and living life.

As with the previous course on Teaching Yoga for Stress and Burnout (see above), this course will explore how psycho-social stress – the ‘neck-up’, ruminating stress we tend to get stuck in in modern societies – can affect people and how the modern body needs special consideration for the way the average student lives their lives. Stress and trauma will be discussed as key contributing factors to CFS.

This course follows on well from the Teaching Yoga for Stress and Burnout one, for a well-rounded and in-depth experiential understanding of how it feels to move and live from an exhausted state. It can also be done without participation of that course as will reiterate points brought forward.

The subjects outlined below will be covered and in-depth notes provided, so that much time can be spent practicing the applications and felt sense of the yoga teaching work. Many aspects will be covered within practice itself, with time allowed for teaching practice, to makes notes and for reflection.

COURSE CONTENTS

The themes in these days will be woven throughout the entire course, both in discussion and experientially.

  • An overview of definitions, contributing factors and the latest scientific understanding of fatigue conditions
  • Specific physical and emotional considerations for those with CFS and ME conditions; how it feels to for the person with these conditions to move, open and stretch.
  • Considerations for the mind-set of those with CFS and Burnout; how habits as samskaras can affect the very practice that could help with observing and unravelling these unhelpful habits. Guidance for teachers on how to direct students in understanding the energetic balance of their yoga practice and their illness. How to manage energy within yoga to learn to increase resilience without relapse.
  • The relevance of trauma within fatigue and stress states and how this can manifest in practice and ‘rebound’. How trauma and inflammation create fatigue and chronic pain and how to work with these.
  • The recent research and implications of relapse in ME/CFS.
  • The need for both restoration and movement and finding the balance within fascia, body fluids and structural needs.
  • The effects of trauma (shock and developmental) on the primal body, how this can manifest and how it needs to be approached to prevent relapse.
  • The importance of identity – how the teacher can help the student not attach to the identity of suffering in chronic illnesses.
  • How it feels to move and experience asana and attention with pain, exhaustion and intense emotional reactions.
  • The necessity of compassion (ahimsa and karuna) and deep listening within our practice, our own bodies and our world, to be able to work with people’s needs on an individual level.
  • Working with the yamas and the gunas as guides for working with chronically heightened energy and mind-sets.
  • Unhelpful samskaras in stress and the modern world; examination of personality types, how this can work against recovery and how yoga can help.
  • Teaching language; using mindfulness, creativity and compassion to encourage practice with a soft mind and body – with humour to release and create a positive sensory experience!

Yogacampus logo

Yoga for Digestive Health

Yogacampus date:

Yoga Bodhi, Bath date:

  • Sunday 10th February 2019, 10am – 5pm (booking details to be released in due course)

To coincide with the release of her new book Yoga Therapy for Digestive Health (Singing Dragon), Charlotte Watts leads this day to explore the theory and practice for yoga teachers, yoga therapists, experienced practitioners and other body and movement workers. The day will cover the fascial, stress, trauma and sensory connections with digestive issues that are so relevant within yoga philosophy and practice.
This training will explore how yoga – with its focus on stilling the mind – can have profound effects through the gut-brain axis on conditions such as IBS, IBD, acid reflux, colitis, diverticulitis and more. Charlotte will shed light on these continual communications between the gut and the brain and the relevance of the fascia, vagus nerve, interoception and proprioception in digestive health. Also how yoga philosophy focuses on accessing this central axis and recognising our need to listen to our visceral states. This will be practically applied for students’ practice and teaching approach.

TOPICS THAT WILL BE COVERED:

•Journey around the digestive system
•Philosophy for the modern gut
•Visceral subtle and physical anatomy
•Body psychotherapy and the chakras
•Practices that particularly support gut-brain axis communication, digestive soothing, visceral ‘slide-and-glide’, grounding for lower chakra connection and intelligent bandha utilisation to reduce, rather than increase tension through the gut
•Specific conditions

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS DAY

 

Course feedback from previous Yogacampus training:

Two fascinating knowledgeable teachers and a deep, well-rounded course that has provided me with new tools to my practice and teaching. – Fern Ross

Charlotte and Leah have created a brilliantly structured course to give clear learning and practical application on a complex area of great difficulty…I feel they have taught us skills safely and compassionately. – Emily Young

Charlotte and Leah create a most open and affirming environment in which to learn and grow. A wealth of experience and knowledge combined with a natural ability to engage, listen and encourage self-realisation. I felt a great sense of belonging and positivity throughout, thank you for sharing. – Lou Wellby

I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 days. I have learned so much and I’m looking forward to putting it into practice! Leah & Charlotte bring a fabulous balance of knowledge, experience, and practice. They held the space beautifully – I felt safe to explore with ease. – Josie Harrington

Leah and Charlotte embody the practice with charm, humour and intellectual rigour. They provided me with a safe space to re-connect to my teaching and my true self. – Lisa Williams