Trails Carolina Mindfulness and Yoga Programming

    As part of our evidence-based and holistic approach to treatment, Trails Carolina incorporates the practice of mindfulness and yoga into the clinical work and daily routine of our students.

    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a key part of the curriculum at Trails, helping students to expand their capacity to manage stress in a healthy way. Originally developed at UMASS Medical School by John Kabat-Zinn, a medical doctor interested in teaching mindfulness to individuals with chronic pain, MBSR has evolved into a globally recognized standard for teaching mindfulness techniques to improve overall mental health.

    MBSR includes grounding techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing, mindful movement, and thought-stopping techniques to help students develop a deeper sense of control over their body, actions and internal processes.

    Students are also regularly encouraged to tune into their senses, pause, and strengthen their mental capacity to be still and content without constant distractions. These mindfulness techniques are shared with both our students and parents, who can use it as a valuable parenting and coping strategy. Having learned these skills along with your child, you’ll have a common experience that will help to strengthen your relationship and foster healthy communication.

    In addition to the MBSR curriculum, mindfulness and yoga are embedded into the daily routine of all Trails Carolina students.  Mornings begin with a guided breathing exercise, and the day closes with a yoga flow and meditation preparing them for a night of restful sleep.  This routine encourages students to carry these practices back to the home environment, which can be both grounding and rewarding.

    Yoga provides both physical and mental benefits to students.  Research on trauma has shown that the impact of traumatic experiences are stored throughout one’s entire body (not just the mind).  Yoga invites students to release this buried tension through flowing movements and focused breathing. Therapeutic yoga sessions serve as a vehicle for students to stand up taller, feel comfortable in their bodies, and empower them to access tools that they have had within themselves all along.  This mind-body connection provides integral support to the traditional clinical modalities used at Trails.

    For more information on MBSR, please go here:
    http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/mindfulness-based-programs/mbsr-courses/about-mbsr/history-of-mbsr/
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/crisis-knocks/201003/mindfulness-based-stress-reduction-what-it-is-how-it-helps

    For more information on yoga and mental health:
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/get-hardy/201305/take-stand-yoga-today

    Read Kaitlin’s blog about yoga and mindfulness at Trails here: 

    https://trailscarolina.com/blog/yoga-mindfulness-can-reduce-stress-teens-trails-carolina-family-therapist-explains/

    Kaitlin Kertesz, MSW, LCSWA
    “RYT” Registered Yoga Teacher – Asheville Yoga Center
    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction “MBSR” – Mindful Academy, Spain
    Yoga as Therapy 100-hour Training – Soulful Yoga, Boston, MA.