2019 was a year of tremendous growth and outreach for Trauma Recovery Yoga (TRY), both locally and globally. With TRY teacher training workshops held every month, our organization has trained almost five hundred people in this unique method which combines yoga, science and psychology to help those who have endured trauma or live in crisis to find peace. Our founder, Joyce Bosen, took on the intention #turninglossintoblessings after her son died tragically and she needed a way out of the sea of trauma in which she was drowning. She has made it her mission over the last seven years to share this method of regulating emotions through movement, meditation, breath, and visualization techniques based in science and psychology.
Our work is to help these people of trauma find the route from fear to freedom. The mission is clear, and we are equipped. ~ Trauma Recovery Yoga LLC
When you attend a TRY class, you will find no matter which location or teacher you choose, the method follows a certain order and space. There is no music, no incense, no chanting, the lighting is comfortable, the teacher does not walk around and touch anybody nor will they call anybody out by name during class. The language used in the class is science, not Sanskrit. Trauma survivors need predictability; they find it in the TRY presentation.
Each Trauma Recovery Yoga class begins with self-regulation techniques: orientation (finding oneself inside the space), grounding (feel the earth supporting you), centering (noticing your body), and breathing (concentrate on breathing). Asking a person of trauma to notice their breath is often the quickest way out of anxiety. “Are you breathing in, or are you breathing out?” TRY is a method which involves yoga poses specifically chosen for ease of execution to be utilized to get the body moving and help purge excess energy, strengthen the body, and relieve stress. Equilibrium can be an issue after experiencing trauma due to distracted concentration, so there are no poses which can challenge one’s balance. Each pose is an ask or suggestion; we emphasize “your yoga, your way”. If a suggested pose does not feel right to a participant, they are welcome to dismiss the ask or perhaps take another pose in its place. Our method is available to all levels, including those who are chair- or bedridden. Self-affirmations are spoken aloud or silently throughout the class time, most often in the downward dog position to remind ourselves who we were pre-trauma and who we can be now (ex: I am strong, I am present, I am safe).
We close our practice with a guided meditation allowing all participants to choose their own final pose, whether it be lying prone, curled up in a fetal position, or some other variation. The teacher talks through our entire practice. This is intentional; post-trauma the mind tends to wander to dark thoughts if left in silence.
January 2019 was the grand opening of the Downtown Yoga & Wellness Co-op and the birth of the collaboration with Trauma Recovery Yoga LLC. The Co-op is located inside Driven Neurorecovery Center at 701 E. Bridger Avenue in downtown Las Vegas. The Co-op has a lovely room filled with natural light in which a variety of yoga classes, Trauma Recovery Yoga included, are held throughout the week. The 20 hour Trauma Recovery Yoga teacher training is held in this room one weekend every other month. On the other months, the teacher training may be held in a location out of state. Trauma Recovery Yoga is now headquartered in the Co-op.
The 1 October/Route 91 massacre in 2017 hit Vegas hard. Trauma Recovery Yoga offered free classes at various locations around Las Vegas for anyone affected by the event during October and November 2017, including first responders and the staff of the coroner’s office. Trauma Recovery Yoga LLC was awarded a “Compassionate City Award” by Mayor Carolyn Goodman in 2017 for providing these classes. Although it has been 2 years since the shooting, people continue to need healing resources. TRY held 8 sessions of free “Survivor Yoga” at the Co-op during March 2019 for anyone impacted by 1 October. The Vegas Strong Resiliency Center, in an effort to inform the public about the services and resources it can provide to 1 October survivors, held open house events throughout the month of May 2019. Trauma Recovery Yoga was invited to participate May 14 along with Denise Stanga who provides trauma massage. Our Executive Director, Erika Vilar, was present with information and a demonstration of TRY chair yoga with self-regulation tools. TRY represented at the 1 October Anniversary Wellness Event in partnership with the Resiliency Center at the Clark County Government Center to provide information on what Trauma Recovery Yoga is and how it can help those affected by the shooting.
Trauma Recovery Yoga provides Mindful Movement by TRY classes in several Las Vegas Title 1 schools which receive funding by a federal education law that is intended to help economically disadvantaged students to succeed. Our TRY teachers are wonderful at volunteering at various community events to spread this important healing method. They showed up at several Fall Festivals held by these schools with information, to answer any questions and to make parents aware of TRY classes adults can attend at the Co-op and other locations.
The VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, a Veterans Affairs Hospital in North Las Vegas, offers yoga classes which utilize the Trauma Recovery Yoga (TRY) philosophy for Veterans who are struggling with PTSD and/or pain management. At different times during the year, the VA will hold wellness fairs at which Trauma Recovery Yoga is invited to have a table of information.
Joyce has increased her focus on public speaking and will continue to move away from her role in teacher training in order to concentrate on bringing awareness to the TRY method. Her husband and TRY co-founder Darwin Bosen has returned to his role at Three Square, Southern Nevada’s only food bank providing food assistance to the residents of Lincoln, Nye, Esmeralda and Clark Counties.
Two amazing individuals have been mentored and trained to fill the training positions left by Joyce and Darwin. We will meet them in a January blog post. The January 24-26, 2020 training is the last training session in which Joyce and Darwin will teach.
In July 2019, along with other Las Vegas individuals including Cupcake Girls founder Joy Hoover, Joyce was invited to be a lululemon Ambassador. Per their website, “the lululemon Ambassador program is extended to unique individuals in our store communities who embody the lululemon lifestyle and live our culture.” lululemon has partnered with Trauma Recovery Yoga on various projects, including the donation of yoga mats for our Mindful Movement school program and most recently, provided tote bags and financial assistance in filling 60 holiday gift bags for our local CSI (crime scene investigators). TRY teachers and others also added goodies to the gift bags. Joyce said, “They are a forgotten group of first responders. Cookies are dropped off all year at fire and police stations, and these folks (CSI) who see the worst of humanity, deal with the aftermath and help us find answers are unseen.”
In November 2019 Joyce was interviewed for Healthcare Sunday (KJUL 104.7) where she spoke about her personal tragedy, how she developed TRY to help herself, and how it has become a mission to provide a healing method not just for Las Vegas, but for the world.
And in December 2019, Joyce was honored to speak at the TEDxDelthorneWomen event in California. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. TEDTalks video and live speakers combined to spark deep discussion around the topic “Better Together.” Her TEDx video will be available soon and will be embedded in a future blog post.
Additional information about Trauma Recovery Yoga may be found on our website at traumarecoveryyoga.org. Class schedules and descriptions, workshop information and more about the Downtown Yoga & Wellness Co-op can be found on the website at dtlvcoop.com.