Phoenix studioThe Chestnut Street rehearsal studio of Phoenix Productions is the setting for a free series of Trauma-sensitive Yoga sessions, beginning next Wednesday, April 13.

Press release from Mental Health Association of Monmouth County

Beginning April 13, Wednesday’s child is full of wellness, not woe — as the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County (MHAMC) will offer free Trauma-Sensitive Yoga sessions to county residents who may be experiencing anxiety, stress, depression or other mental health concerns.

The free program will present three sessions each Wednesday at 4, 5, and 6 p.m., with all classes hosted at the spacious new rehearsal studios of Red Bank-based stage company Phoenix Productions (59 Chestnut Street, across from the Armory Ice Complex). All sessions are offered free of charge, and free on-site parking is available at the Phoenix building.

“We are excited to provide this holistic approach as an alternative or complementary intervention to assist persons who need some additional tools to manage stress or anxiety,” said Nancy Tighe, LCSW, MHAMC Sandy Wellness and Trauma Counseling Coordinator.  “Not only can yoga help to reduce stress, but it has also been shown to be effective in enhancing mood, and reducing risk factors of chronic diseases such as heart disease and high blood pressure.”

MHA therapist, and Registered Yoga Teacher, Holly Heston, LSW, agrees, stating, “Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines movement and physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. Poses can be adapted so that almost anyone can do it.”

For the past several years Ms. Heston has been working for the MHAMC providing supportive counseling to persons impacted by Superstorm Sandy. She received specialized training in Trauma-Sensitive Yoga from the prestigious Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts. Holly was trained under Trauma Sensitive Yoga instructor David Emerson who developed the program.

Trauma-sensitive yoga is an empirically validated treatment that, according to Emerson, “moves beyond traditional talk therapies that focus on the mind, by bringing the body actively into the healing process. This allows trauma survivors to cultivate a more positive relationship to their body through gentle breath, mindfulness, and movement practices.”

“We truly appreciate Phoenix Productions generosity for offering us the use of their beautiful studio space and partnering with us to bring this important program to the community,” said MHAMC Executive Director, Wendy DePedro. “We hope that this program can offer those persons who struggle with trauma related stress reactions yet another path to healing and wellness,” Ms. DePedro added.

For more information on Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, and other Mental Health Association programs, please call (732)542-6422.