Core components of TCTSY
Within the practice, facilitators offer every form and movement as an invitation, such as “if you would like to,” “you’re welcome to”. In an effort to share power in as many ways as we can, facilitators do not use command-based language. At the heart of TCTSY is understanding what creates the experience of trauma for each individual and doing the opposite. Inviting someone into movement and making choices is way of not exercising control over them.
Facilitators invite choice making, offering a limited set of options to choose from, while also naming that options not expressly offered are always on the table. Trauma is an “extreme lack of choice” (Herman, 1992) and with complex trauma, that often shows up in not making choices for yourself even when you can. The protective behavior sticks. Offering choices within the movements and forms (e.g., “you could take the movement from standing or seated,” “you might do movement A or movement B”) is about empowering the survivor. Practicing making choices can lead to improved self-regulation abilities (“taking effective action”).
Present Moment Experience
Facilitators offer opportunities to notice present-moment experience through sensations and breathing. The bodily function at work here is interoception, aka perception of internal experience. Cultivating one’s interoception is a means to regain or develop awareness of self (both self in terms of biological functions and in terms of identity). Dysregulated body systems, dissociation, and difficulty coping with sensations are common symptoms in complex trauma.
Shared Authentic Experience
Shared authentic experience is what we call facilitators and participants each having their own unique experience in the practice, while practicing together. Facilitators experience the forms and movements along with the practitioners rather than serving as an observer or evaluator (common in “regular” yoga classes). Sharing time, space, and activity while each person is having their own experiences through choices and present-moment experience is another way we strive to share power in the TCTCY class.
Facilitators strive to remove any suggestion of coercion or manipulation, through the forms they offer, the language they use, how they show up in tone of voice, body language, and attire; and how they relate to participants through space, place, and other environmental factors over which we have control. TCTSY does not use physical assists, value-based language (“strong,“ “calm,“ “good,“ “bad“), or goal-driven practice sequences. We avoid centering facilitator intention or objective (e.g. in language, “I invite you to,” “I suggest that you”).