Qigong Infused Yoga Teacher Training Programs: Healing my PTSD with Qigong

My name is Lynne Nicole Smith and I am offering Qigong Infused Yoga Teacher Training Programs both in person and online. There are so many yoga styles, classes, teacher training programs and people pursuing yoga as as a powerful means to find balance and health in a world that is chaotic, stressful and filled with sometimes confusing technology that is reshaping our lives. I want to give you a backdrop of why I have pursued this as my life’s work and the ways I see this practice changing my and other people’s lives in such powerful, real ways.

When I am practicing Qigong or Qigong Infused Yoga, I am in awe of how effective the practice is for bringing me to a place of anxiety to peace, from fear to acceptance, from tension to relaxation so quickly. I have stayed committed to the practice for seventeen years and Qigong Infused Yoga has become my life’s work. This practice works.

As a trauma survivor who has struggled with PTSD symptoms from childhood abuse, I have genuinely transformed my nervous system and have improved in all areas of my life due to Qigong and Yoga. I am 44 and I see my relationships getting better, my career is growing and I am cultivating resiliency and deep strength of mind and heart through my practice and my teaching. I created Qigong Infused Yoga to offer the benefits of both ancient mind/body practices within one modality.

I discovered Qigong in 2002 while studying with Dr. Roger Jahnke at The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. After living at Omega for a month and practicing Qigong for 8 hours a day, my life completely transformed. After several years of being in talk therapy trying to resolve the wounds of my past, I found that Qigong was the most effective way for me to shift my emotional state and PTSD symptoms.

I was also practicing Yoga on a daily basis and ultimately decided to do my 200 hour training in 2005. It has always felt natural and beneficial to integrate Qigong into all of my Gentle Yoga classes. I’ve learned and applied a unique set of exercises, breathing techniques and movements that fit together in a fluid way to offer a deeply calming mind/body practice, Qigong Infused Yoga™.

I used to struggle with shame, anxiety and depression. I grew up in a household with an incredible amount of discord. My mother and father were constantly arguing and fighting. My older siblings disliked my mother having lost their biological mother to a sudden illness. No one could figure out how to negotiate peacefully or manage the grief, transitions, and emotions that came up in this new blended family. I was the little one in the family, the youngest and most vulnerable. I was not fighting with them because I was too young to know what exactly was going on but I remember listening to these constant arguments while alone in my bedroom. Part of me felt entertained by them, it was like watching a live soap opera from behind closed doors. Yet, now I know that I was being neglected and my need for love was being denied.

I needed nurturing, attention and support as a young child but my family was too busy fighting. My father did my best to teach me sports and to do fun activities with me. He was both very gentle and very angry. It was a confusing thing to witness. He eventually sought treatment himself and I commend him for this choice.

My brother who was 4 years older than me sexually abused me and as an adolescent, I was ill equipped to know how to set healthy boundaries with boys. He was a terrible role model to say the least. I experienced more sexual trauma as an adolescent which ripped my innocence and sense of dignity apart. I suddenly was swimming in a reservoir of shame feeling like I was nothing and that I didn’t matter as much as other people. To top it all off, my brother blamed me and physically punished me when I was 14 for experiencing something awful as a young adolescent. My brother needs treatment and he should probably be in jail for the crimes he has committed.

When I was 18, my mother recommended I go to therapy and with resistance, I finally agreed. The therapist asked me “Have you been sexually abused?” I immediately answered Yes. She said, “By who?” and I responded “My brother.”

That’s when my eyes opened up wide and my healing journey began. I was one hundred percent dedicated to healing the wounds that were inflicted upon me as a child and early adolescent when I didn’t know exactly how to protect myself from harm. I went to individual and group therapy for 20 years and found my way back to my own energy and body through Qigong and Yoga.

I can honestly say with conviction that it is the mind/body practices of Qigong and Yoga that have helped to empower me and to heal my body and heart the most. My nervous system was out of whack for many years and it took a whole lot of inner work to reshape my nervous system to one that is balanced, healthy and now, I declare… highly intelligent.

Through working with my nervous system and rewiring it with deep breathing techniques, EMDR, expressive arts therapy, active breathwork, tapping, affirmations, inner child work(inner bonding) Qigong and Yoga, I have literally changed myself from the inside, out. One of the reasons I can be so honest about all of this is because I haven’t an ounce of shame about any of it any more. As I have witnessed my own deep personal transformation, it is my wish to offer transparency to others, especially women so that they feel comfortable being themselves while working with me. It is not your fault. It was not my fault. We are equal allies on the path to heal in a genuine way.

What I have come to realize is that even if someone hasn’t survived major trauma, that this life will eventually present challenges, stress, obstacles, transitions, losses and even unexpected hardships to us. Yes, life is also filled with blessings, happiness, loving relationships, milestones and joys…and those are to be honored and celebrated. The practices of Qigong and Yoga are gateways for deepening our sense of acceptance and gratitude for the wide array of experiences life presents us, trauma or no trauma. Through this powerful self-care practice, we access a way of pursuing physical, emotional and spiritual health while shifting our nervous system away from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest”. The more we are stimulating our parasympathetic nervous system in this way through Qigong Infused Yoga™, we are maximizing the body and minds capacity to heal itself.

For those of you that are reading this who know of someone, a young girl or woman who needs support in healing from sexual trauma or domestic violence, I am here as a resource. I have acquired some effective tools to relieve anxiety and to heal emotional pain…and I’ve done it myself. I am honest in the hopes that you will see that I I do my best to be a sincere person. We live in a world filled with vultures and people who are sloppy with their words and behaviors towards others, including professionals. I have found a way where the trauma I experienced has turned into personal triumph and I want to support others in their journey towards triumph as well. It is real and it happens with the right conditions, people, support, tools and compassion.

No one is intended to suffer alone and I have found my greatest allies have been those that went through it and got out to the other side. If you want to learn tools to support you in healing trauma, anxiety and your nervous system, please reach out any time.

I am a coach who specializes in recovery from trauma and have created a Qigong Infused Yoga DVD and Teacher Training Program so these practices can continue to spread to as many people as possible. We all play our part in helping this world to be better.

I am here to support you.

–Lynne Nicole


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