Over 100 yoga teachers and social service providers have now completed the Firefly Training in trauma-informed yoga. These individuals are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate yoga for trauma survivors in a safe, effective, and compassionate way. In numerous states across the country, Firefly trainees are initiating trauma-informed yoga classes in their own communities and integrating principles of trauma-informed care into their work. Firefly is thrilled to highlight the dedicated efforts of these individuals on the Firefly blog. This month, we celebrate the work of Judy Fuller, a massage therapist and yoga teacher living in Alta Sierra, CA.
Judy Fuller attended the Firefly Training in Spring 2017 in Grass Valley, CA. She has since initiated and run a trauma-informed series entitled, “Learning To Manage Anxiety, Depression & Post Traumatic Stress.” Among other things, Judy’s program incorporated gentle core opening yoga, relaxing breathing practices, guided awareness and imagery, body centered mindfulness, expressive arts, and education on the brain, nervous system and neural plasticity. She capped her series at six participants to ensure emotional and physical safety for everyone. Here is what Judy says about her work:
“I attended the Firefly Training in trauma-informed yoga last spring. Following the training, I was inspired to put together a series class, pulling from all my learnings from almost 30 years of working with students and clients.
I have now run two series which both filled to capacity. The feedback has been amazing, with some of the participants now reporting they are able to recognize more quickly when they are outside their tolerance window, and that they are able to use the tools we developed in class to bring themselves back in. The biggest reward for me was to see them developing self compassion towards parts of themselves they had always been ashamed of and tried to hide.
Developing and teaching this series was challenging and stretched me in my own self-care and facing my own edges, but it was well worth the effort. Each class was two hours long and I took students through handouts, lectures and experiential practices. We also spent time developing a “tools for management” list, which everyone contributed to. I plan to continue the series in early 2018."
Firefly is inspired by Judy, and by all trauma-informed yoga teachers who are making unique, much-needed offerings across the country. As the devoted Mahatma Gandhi once said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." The Firefly Training convenes service-minded yoga teachers and providers for three days of learning, sharing, and growing. Through the lens of social justice and activism, this intensive prepares individuals to design and implement trauma-informed yoga initiatives in their own communities. To learn more or register for an upcoming training, visit our training page.
About Judy Fuller, CMT, RYT
Judy has been in practice since 1990, with extensive training including integrative massage, craniosacral bodywork, hypnotherapy, Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counseling, herbology, Svaroopa Yoga, Embodyment Yoga Therapy and trauma-informed yoga. Judy’s wide background allows her to bring a unique, integrative expertise to each class and private session. Having experienced chronic depression, anxiety and PTSD herself, Judy is passionate about empowering others to overcome the shame and paralysis which can block you from living a healthy, vibrant life. Her PTSD service dog, Chai assists in her courses, as well. She teaches Core Opening Yoga at Full Life Yoga in Nevada City, CA and in her home office/studio in Alta Sierra, where she also works with clients individually.