9 Key Concepts of YESR

“It is in the space between inner and outer world, which is also the space between people–the transitional space–that intimate relationships and creativity occur.”
― Donald Woods Winnicott


These are some principles that I will consistently come back to, in the presentation of material. These concepts draw from my study of art therapy, psychoanalysis, and yoga, as well as my experiences in listening to the many stories of many people, over the years.

TRANSITION & TRANSITIONAL SPACE – Periods of transition can be immensely powerful and they often hold valuable information. The transitional space is a place of transformation. Yoga provides us with the skills to safely explore, and be present in, the transitional space.

CONTAINERS & CONTAINING SPACE – In order to create an environment of safety, there is a necessity to providing a containing space. The yoga practice in a YESR context has multiple levels of containment.

MICROCOSMS: “ZOOM IN. ZOOM OUT.” – Our experience on the mat is metaphoric for our life off the mat. What presents in our practice, will present in our life. The ability to vacillate or move between states of ‘zoom in’ (to detail), and ‘zoom out’ (to the big picture) is a demonstration of mental flexibility. The promotion of mental flexibility assists in building resiliency.

STRUCTURE & FREEDOM – We must create/implement structure in order to find freedom. We can only experience freedom, once we know the boundary. The discipline and order of the yoga practice is an important component to using yoga in an emotionally therapeutic manner.

FINDING BASELINE – YESR utilizes the yoga practice to assist in finding a baseline (aka ‘Return to Neutral’). If we are consistently operating in a state of hyperarousal or hypoarousal (in the nervous system) than our sense of a ‘baseline’ can become skewed.

THE SPACE IN BETWEEN – YESR presents the yoga practice as a safe way to break patterns of black and white/all or nothing thinking. The yoga practice is about exploring the space in between and beginning to find comfort in the grey area.

CREATING A <PAUSE> – In YESR, the yoga practice promotes moments of reflection, in order to integrate information. It encourages the observation of physiological states in a non-judgmental manner. In YESR, the process of observation and reflection, is equally as important as ‘doing the pose’.

BRINGING FORM TO THAT WHICH IS FORMLESS– In YESR, the pose (or shape of the body) is framed as an embodiment of an inner state that cannot be put into words.

INVITE ASSERTIVE ENERGY – There are 4 ways in which we communicate with others: passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and assertive. In YESR, the student is encouraged to invite assertive energy into their practice.

Learn more at my workshop Return to Neutral: Yoga for Emotional Self Regulation

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