What is Reclaim Your Body?
Reclaim Your Body is a movement practice that cultivates body connection, agency, confidence and wholeness.
If you have ever felt empty, disconnected or hopelessness in relationship to your body, it does not mean that there is anything wrong with you. It may be due to the impact of trauma on your nervous system.
As the result of traumatic life events, the parts of the brain that connect mind and body become disrupted. Because of this, your body can become shut down & difficult or scary to feel. You may feel like a shell of a human, worthless or like you just can't go on. You may feel overwhelmed with depression, anxiety or panic attacks. Maybe you just want to breathe again.
You are not stuck. There is a way to change this.
The way through the numbness, fear, pain and anxiety is through the body. By noticing your body and beginning to feel your body, you can actually rewire the neural networks in your brain that communicate your essential worthiness. From this place you can begin to grow a deeper level of self love and acceptance.
Reclaim Your Body provides a safe space for you to feel your body.
Through a series of gentle postures you will be invited to notice sensations. You will be invited to stretch, engage your muscles, stretch and balance.
Everything is offered as an invitation.
Multiple variations are offered in each physical form and participants are encouraged to choose the level of participation moment to moment.
In the class you get to move your body on your terms.
Kelsey will not offer physical assists or be walking around the room. She will offer verbal assists as needed.
On your mat, you will be invited to move at your own pace.
Together we will practice making choices, noticing sensation and taking effective action.
This protocol is a bottom-up approach that rewires your brain and nervous system to integrate and transcend trauma.
Is this a clinical treatment?
Yes. This method is based on Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY), an evidence-based treatment protocol for complex trauma developed by leading researchers in the fields of trauma & psychology. It is based on clinical trials performed at the Trauma Center in Brookline Massachusetts by psychiatrist and leading trauma researcher, Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk and yoga teacher David Emerson.
Kelsey Gustafson, RYT 200, TCTSY-F, is an adjunctive faculty at the Center for Trauma and Embodiment and holds an advanced certification in Trauma Sensitive Yoga through the Trauma Center. She is the only certified TCTSY-F practitioner in California.
TCTSY is the first somatic modality to be scientifically proven as an effective adjunctive treatment for psychological trauma. Through body movement we engage the neural networks in the brain that are damaged by trauma. The way we reconnect them is through interoception, in other words moving the body and feeling the body. This is a learnable skill we can practice together.
Is this class for me?
If you have experienced sexual or physical assault, surgery, illness, medical trauma, psychological abuse, or neglect, Trauma Sensitive Yoga can help you integrate fragmented parts so that you can feel more whole and at ease in your body.
These small groups are designed specifically to cultivate safety & heal trauma held in the mind & body. They are open to cis women, trans women and gender nonbinary folks and as having experienced trauma. This is not a space for cis men.
The treatment is designed to heal complex trauma, however you do not need to have an official diagnosis in order to participate. If you have experienced trauma and live with the impact of it, this class is for you.
What are the potential benefits?
Integration of physical & mental health
Acceptance of one's self and body
Enhanced ability to make healthy choices
Connection to self & others
Vitality & engagement in life
What are students saying?
"Before the class, I spent a lot of time disassociated from my body. In the class, I found myself spending more time there and really feeling what it's like to live in my own body."
"There was no pressure to compete, keep up, push hard, or act in a specific way. It felt like a warm, soft, quiet, safe-haven to come to each week. It was a little retreat from the world of rushing, external focus, and fitting in."
"Kelsey is great, she makes it feel safe, she makes it easy to stay in the present. In the beginning, Kelsey was always very clear about what to expect, and confirms everything so you know when and where to go. She's very calming and she reminds you of choices you can make to feel more comfortable."
"Since I had become kind of isolated I was having trouble wanting to be around other people. This class was an easy first thing to do to be around people without having to talk, staying busy doing something that is relaxing and safe. So I appreciated that about the group setting."
Each week in addition to a physical practice, we will be discussing the key themes of embodied trauma resolution and going through the book Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga together. There will be optional reading assignments and discussions at the beginning of class.
You can choose to attend the Monday series (4:30-6pm at Emeryville Yoga Therapy Center) or the Tuesday series (7:30-9pm at the Berkeley Yoga Center). Each class is limited to 10 participants to create safety and familiarity in the container.
The Series Includes (value of $840):
10 in person classes (value = $500)
12 online classes (value = $295)
the book Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga (value = $20)
personal manual for tracking your growth (value = $25)
email access to Kelsey throughout series (priceless)
$495 Early Bird - register before Oct 1
$595 Regular - register after Oct 1
The tuition covers all materials, in person classes and online practice videos. The full fee is due 7 days before the start date of the series.
If paying in one lump sum is not accessible for you at this time, payment plans are available. Additionally, there is one half price scholarship available for folks who have complex positionalities. Please email your payment plan or scholarship request to email@example.com.
Refunds: These classes are small and limited in size and once you register, I hold that space for you. If for any reason you are not able to attend the workshop, refunds will only be available if a cancellation request is made prior to 7 days before the start date of the class. If you provide less than 7 days notice, no refunds are available.
Prerequisites: This class is an adjunctive treatment for traditional therapy. Kelsey is not a lisenced clinician. Active participation in therapy is highly recommended to support you throughout your participation in Reclaim Your Body. If you would like help finding a therapist, Kelsey can offer support during your free initial consultation.
Register: The first step in registering is to schedule a complimentary phone interview with Kelsey to learn more about the program. You can use the link below to choose a time that works for you.
The Berkeley Yoga Center:
Q: How is TCTSY (Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga) different than other styles of yoga?
A: TCTSY is not about the form of the posture, but about the sensation in the body. It is an evidence-based protocol that is based on clinical trials and has been proven an effective adjunctive treatment for psychological trauma. The point of it is to engage the neural networks in the brain that are damaged by trauma. This area of the brain is stimulated through interoception, in other words moving the body and feeling the body.
Q: How do I know that I have the "right" kind of trauma?
A: TCTSY was designed to work with complex trauma and PTSD. Women in the classes have experienced different types of trauma from surgery, to sexual or physical assault to chronic neglect or unhealthy relationship. If you have questions about if this could help you, one option is to schedule a complimentary consultation call with Kelsey where you can discuss this together.
Q: Is this a form of psychotherapy?
A: No. TCTSY is an adjunctive treatment for trauma and works well as a complement to psychotherapy. There is no talking or processing involved in TSY and no need to go into the story around the trauma. In fact, we strive not to engage the cognitive brain at all in this treatment.
Q: Do I need to be in psychotherapy to participate?
A: Yes. There is no talking involved in the TSY protocol, and for your safety and integration it is important to have access to the support of a mental healthcare professional. TCTSY has been shown to enhance progress in traditional psychotherapy.
Q: I am interested in participating, but I'm not in psychotherapy right now. Can I still come?
A: TCTSY is best experienced as an adjunctive treatment to traditional talk therapy. If you would like to find a therapist, Kelsey can offer referrals to local, talented healers in the community. There are several somatic psychotherapists who have offices at Innerstellar as well as local low-income clinics that she would recommend. Email Kelsey for details.
Q: What if I get triggered in class?
A: Emotions may come up in class as they do in the rest of life. Kelsey will offer grounding techniques to help you center if you become dysregulated. Participants are encouraged to choose their level of participation moment to moment. If you need special attention during class Kelsey will be available and if anything comes up afterwards you will be able to process it with your therapist.