My passion for treating victims of trauma began with my own experience.
In our community, we use the word empath as a marker of kindness, intuitiveness, sensitivity -it implies being spiritually attuned.

I didn’t know until recently that origins of empathic tendencies are rooted in childhood abuse and neglect.

I had little knowledge of the link between empaths or co-dependents and Cluster B Personality Disorders.

While I knew a lot about PTSD, I didn’t know about a much more difficult to treat form of PTSD called, CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

CPTSD, is defined as repeated trauma experienced in a situation in which the individual cannot escape and is dependent on the abuser and often includes -a double bind or catch 22 scenario.

I didn’t know that empaths, are often the escapees of abusive families, and without treatment and knowledge -are the most vulnerable for re-enacting familiar abuse cycles with teachers, students, friends, and romantic partners who have Cluster B Personality Disorders.

But now that I know – I see the dynamic playing out everywhere.

The good news is Yoga and meditation have been proven to help people recover from PTSD and CPTSD.

It happens by a process of reclaimation. Feeling the feels, and telling the truth about the abuse. Then aligning the world view closer to reality and facing the truth by telling the story and re-experiencing it as it actually was. This requires abandoning coping mechanisms that once served the individual; such as, magical thinking and neurotic naivety. Then the individual can learn to keep themselves safe.

In order to begin to do this the brain needs to heal. Simple cues like; grounding into the feet, and using deep diaphragmatic breathing stimulates the somatic sensory cortex and helps to enlarge the hippocampus. While meditation improves the neurological pathways between the limbic and the prefrontal cortex, which increases memory and helps to restore vital function and reduces the intensity of emotional flashbacks.

In my up coming 300 hr Yoga training, we will discuss in great detail how to use Yoga as a tool for recovery. How to use trauma sensitive language and concepts, to help our students heal and to help ourselves become more real and identify unhealthy systems.

We will explore why and how we get stuck and how to inspire others.
We will learn about self-love and self-care which is often linked to diet or beauty regimens, these surface concerns barely scratch the surface of what keeps us repeating patterns that are less than ideal.

Self-care isn’t a discipline but rather an outpouring of intrinsic, unwavering self-worth.

First the work and then the payouts naturally unfold.

Thanksgiving is my favorite of all the American holidays, the idea of gathering to break bread with those we love inspires me to make creative and meaningful offerings. I found a beautiful blessing written by one of my favorite poets, John O’ Donahue that I’d like to share with you, perhaps you would like to share it with your family and loved ones.

Grace Before Meals

As we begin this meal with grace,
Let us become aware of the memory
Carried inside the food before us:
The quiver of the seed
Awakening of the earth,
Unfolding in a trust of roots
And slender stems of growth,
On its voyage toward harvest,
The kiss of the rain and the surge of the sun;
The innocence of animal soul
That never spoke a word,
Nourished by the earth
To become today our food;
The work of all the strangers
Whose hands prepared it,
The privilege of wealth and health
That enables us to feast and celebrate.

As many of you know my dear friend, Chris Tompkins is presenting this weekend for the Lila Tandava TT on the history, practice and philosophy of Yoga. This weekend is open to the public and is broken down into segments. You are all welcome to attend this workshop. Chris flew in from Boulder, Co. so it’s a huge treat to have him with us. I hope you are able to attend. Below is an interview I did with Chris this summer on using this practice as a method for transformation through radical self acceptance, check it out!

Thanksgiving Weekend w/ Christopher Tompkins
Nov. 29, 30, & Dec. 1st 2013

Friday 6-9 pm -Satsang and Ucchara meditation practice $30. (Om Shri-The Yurt, Chappaqua, NY)
Saturday 9-12 -History of Yoga $45 (Om Shri-The Yurt, Chappaqua, NY)
Saturday 2-5 pm -Introduction to Kaishmir Shaivism $45 (Om Shri-The Yurt, Chappaqua, NY)
(Saturday full day $75)
Sunday 10-4 -Delving into the Heart of Conscious Living $75 (The Gym, Armonk, NY)
Full weekend $175.

To register for this event please contact Colleen via email at:

© 2018 Colleen Lila Yoga