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Trauma-Informed Ki-Aikido

posted Aug 24, 2018, 9:58 AM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Aug 25, 2018, 5:05 PM ]
By Laurel Strand-Crawford

Since starting a class in Ki-Aikido foundations for trauma survivors, the question I've been asked most often is, "I would like to join this class, but do I need to be a trauma survivor?" The short answer is that everyone is welcome. My extended answers are always contextualized in the conversation, but I've given this a lot of thought during our late-summer break and I want to take the opportunity to share my inspiration & intention for creating this class.

In simplest terms, the way I have come to see it, this world is a survivor of countless traumatic experiences. The world as we know it, including our individually-experienced bodies of awareness, is made up of multitudinous systems in various stages of trauma resolution. It occurs to me that everyone on the planet right now is connected to some aspect of trauma, and as such can be instrumental to the healing in process.

As someone who has studied trauma for the last 15 years, I've built an awareness of the ways human systems, both individually & collectively experienced, reflect an intricate process of healing. As biological & social systems attempt to resolve traumatic experience, they undergo changes in biochemistry, language, perception, & availability, all which can be profound, intense, and overwhelming for the individual.

In my own experience, the principles of Ki-Aikido assist this process monumentally. As we develop a stronger relationship with the very center of our living experience, we build our capacities to recognize our own stability, to access choices, to affirm our most natural freedom of movement. We practice allowing our mind to settle at the center of experience, welcoming the awareness of sensation & connection, and moving from where we're not being held. The dojo becomes a laboratory for the rest of our lives, helping us develop a new somatic baseline informed by a stable center.

When I first came to the Center for Mind-Body Oneness in 2008, as a trauma survivor several years into active healing work, I found a safe container able to support me in developing my own awareness & stability. I found non-dogmatic tradition, designed with respect for individual exploration & authentic discovery. I found a good teacher dedicated to training in daily life, committed to applying these principles in ways that open doors for each student no matter where they come from.

Learning from this example, I want to share this gift of opening doors. What I am able to offer is my own training in the universal principles we study in Ki-Aikido. As an expression of my own integration process, I offer a trauma-informed access to these principles, knowing that the availability & reflection of this work can make a world of difference in training & daily life.

Trauma-Informed Ki-Aikido begins again on September 6th at 6pm. Wherever you are in the global conversation on trauma & healing, I hope you will consider joining us in this life laboratory.