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Healing Through Movement

Healing Through Movement

by Heather Lily Lerch

Healing through movement is an evidence based, body centered movement and breathing practice that invites you to explore and experience the sensations of your body in your own way. It has its roots in yoga, and pulls from attachment theory and neuroscience to work with your nervous system to repair some of the common aftershocks of trauma.


While the yoga you might find at a yoga studio or gym is often focused on physical fitness or flexibility, in Trauma Sensitive Yoga you will be invited to listen to the sensations in your body and make choices based on what you hear. Whether you are a long time yoga practitioner or a first time participant, you will be able to create a practice that works for you.


Have you ever felt like you couldn’t make a decision? Perhaps you have felt overwhelmed by choices that it seems like others have no problem making? Maybe you feel exhausted as you move through difficult life events?


Let’s remember that trauma comes in many forms, and each one writes a story in your nervous system. It could be due to acts of physical or emotional violence and neglect, racism, discrimination, natural disasters, or even global pandemics. One of the hallmarks of trauma is having your choices and agency taken away from you. Feelings of exhaustion, powerlessness and hopelessness are common for survivors. Even after the traumatic event, this story is still written in your nervous system and can have a profound effect on how you might approach the world. In fact, after these past few years of pandemic life, we all could possibly find some solace in reconnecting with our own personal sense of agency.


It may be helpful to remember that having a nervous system response to trauma is actually incredibly healthy. The nervous system is integral to what is necessary to survive traumatic events. Fight, flight, freeze or submit are all incredibly useful nervous system responses to cope in challenging or dangerous situations. The issue comes when it is time to restore our body after the immediate threat is removed. Rest and recovery are crucial for your body and mind to restore itself. To start to rebuild a sense of safety within your body so that your nervous system is not stuck on high alert responding to a threat at all times. Trauma Sensitive Yoga is one way to retrain your nervous system to be at rest so you have the chance to restore and rebuild.


Trauma Sensitive Yoga sessions are deeply individual. Your facilitator will work with you to find the length of time and style of movement that serve your needs. Each session will be focused on creating a space safe enough for you to make choices about how you move in your own body. You will be encouraged to let go of the right or wrong way to move or breathe, and instead, invited to bring a spirit of curiosity to how your body and breath feel in each moment.



If you are curious about these sessions, you are welcome to sign up for them in conjunction with your current therapy or as a stand alone therapeutic practice.  Heather offers 6-week “mini-sessions”.  For 6 weeks, you meet virtually for 15 -20 min, typically before your therapy session to provided grounding, centering, and healing space before you attend therapy.  Additionally, Heather meets privately with those interested in trauma informed therapy.  Learn more here or contact the front desk to sign up.  910-769-6360 or