CONTACT

Karen Schwartz

LMSW, TCTSY-F, C-IAYT karen@mindfullivingnyc.com

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Photography by Wyatt Counts.  Design by Kim Cortes.

 

Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga

 

Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) creates space for individual, present moment experience.  Through practicing simple yoga forms, movements and breathing, trauma survivors are empowered to connect with their bodies in a safe way at their own pace, completely in charge of their experience.

 

Developed at the Trauma Center in Brookline, Mass., TCTSY is an evidence based practice for the complementary treatment of complex trauma and chronic, treatment resistant PTSD.

For more information, read about the Trauma Center study on the efficacy of TCTSY.

 

Sessions For Trauma Survivors

 

Together, we will practice forms, movements and breathing to help you connect with your body in a safe way at your own pace.  This practice includes no hands-on assists, and no prior yoga experience is required.  Individual and small group sessions are available.  It is strongly advised that participants be in individual therapy in order to have a place to process their experience.  **Women's Tuesday evening group near Union Square resumes mid-January; please contact me for details.**

Sessions For Social Service/Health Care Agencies

 

For Your Clients: TCTSY is a wonderful complementary therapy for clients with trauma backgrounds to practice stress reduction and self-care.  Sessions may be done in chairs, and no special equipment is necessary.

 

Self-care for Helping Professionals: TCTSY can serve as a valuable self-care practice for social service staff, health care workers and other helping professionals.  Please contact me to schedule an introductory in-service workshop, or a series of classes for your organization. 


Read about the importance of wellness and self-care for social workers from NASW CEO Angelo McClain.

Workshops For Yoga Studios, Teachers and Social Service Agencies

 

I offer a three-hour “Introduction to TCTSY” workshop which covers the foundations and key elements of TCTSY, includes an experiential practice, and leaves ample time for questions and discussion.  It is useful both for teachers interested in working with populations likely to have trauma backgrounds (such as addiction and criminal justice), and for those who wish to bring trauma sensitivity to their studio classes.  Please contact me to schedule a workshop at your studio or organization.

Trauma Sensitive Yoga Therapy Continuing Education for C-IAYTs

The prevalence of complex trauma and its role as an underlying factor in many health conditions requires that yoga therapists be versed in both th nature of complex trauma and the key elements of working in a trauma sensitive manner. Using the evidence based methodology of Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) as its core, along with best practices in trauma sensitive mindfulness, this 17-hour, two-day course will help yoga therapists explore how to work with clients in a trauma sensitive manner, including handling a client's trauma history if it presents during the yoga therapy intake process.  Students are encouraged to bring case examples from their own practice for consideration and discussion.  This course takes place in New York City, or I can come to your location.  Please contact me to be added to the waiting list, or to discuss scheduling a workshop out of town.

Testimonials

attended Karen's weekly women's TCTSY class for 7 months as part of holistic treatment for chronic PTSD. I originally intended to attend for 8 weeks, but I found Karen's teaching to be so helpful that I continued on. Karen's classes are highly structured, she is professional, and very sensitive to the needs of her clients. She was always open to feedback and encouraged questions. Most importantly, her class is a safe and non-judgmental space for survivors. TCTSY helped me feel safe in my body, and helped me ease into other ways to be mindful in my life. I wish more trauma survivors could experience the healing power of yoga, not just as an exercise but as a way to be present in one's body. I was very lucky to find a yoga teacher as talented as Karen. I highly recommend her.

M.S.

TCTSY Participant

It was a joy to witness the extent to which TCTSY with Karen helped my client move through difficult moments of the therapeutic work. It was clear that TCTSY helped her feel more connected to and empowered in her body, and there is a genuine sense that the gains she made over the course of the treatment will have a lasting impact on her life. I am so grateful that my client had this opportunity. I wish all of my traumatized clients could be so fortunate.

 

Dr. Amanda Boris

Clinical Psychologist

New Alternatives for Children

As supervisor to a domestic violence crisis shelter, I was thrilled to have Karen’s skills to augment our holistic approach to caring for survivors of trauma. Many of our clients suffer from symptoms of PTSD, anxiety and depression, which can be alleviated by a number of interventions including the somatic therapies that Karen has expertise in. Through our collaboration with Karen we have noted her professionalism, calm demeanor, clinical acumen and commitment to our program and to the clients. From the clients’ feedback we know that Karen offers an invaluable space of calm, respect, and choice for the clients, which is exactly what they need in order to reconnect with their bodies and heal from their trauma.

Katherine Williams, LMSW

Supervising Social Worker, Residential Services

Sanctuary For Families New York

 

Mindfulness Based Health Coaching

Our health is our greatest asset, but stress, hectic or sedentary lifestyles and a nutrient-poor diet can all conspire to deprive us of the energy, vitality and wellness we deserve. In order to make lasting changes that result in good health, happiness and overall well being, we need three things: knowledge, self-awareness and support.

 

With mindfulness based health coaching I offer an individualized approach that helps you identify simple, effective actions you can take to improve your health, and customized mindfulness practices to help you handle stress, identify triggers and challenges, and make healthier choices.

 

Together, we’ll set realistic, meaningful goals which we will evaluate and re-assess as we go along.  Our work will include:

 

  • Ongoing communication about progress and challenges via in-person meetings, email and virtual conferences if needed
     

  • Clear time frames and a delineation of our expectations and the responsibilities of both client and coach
     

  • Learning the three-part true hunger-check-in
     

  • Learning the simple mantra that can help you understand your own mind-body relationship
     

  • Collaboration with your other health care providers, if warranted
     

  • Celebrating your accomplishments!

 

Please contact me to set up a free 15-minute introductory phone call to discuss the possibilities of working together on your journey to better health!

 

Personalized Yoga Therapy

Personalized Yoga Instruction

 

There is no “one size fits all” in yoga.  As a yoga teacher, I will help you develop and maintain a practice tailored to your unique needs and support your continued learning and growth.  Our primary tools will be breathing, movement, attention, mindfulness and relaxation.

 

Yoga Therapy

 

You may have specific conditions that require a more specialized approach.  As a yoga therapist, I can help with designing practices to help heal physical injuries and cope with chronic health conditions.  These may include: arthritis; back pain; changes that accompany aging; cancer or heart disease, and recovery from mental and emotional challenges such as addiction and eating disorders.

For more information, read the International Association of Yoga Therapists’ full definition of Yoga Therapy.

 

Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation is a way of being present, and recognizing the power our thoughts have to influence our emotions and behavior.  Rather than “stilling” the mind, we learn to observe the activity of our mind from a calm, centered place.  Mindfulness meditation typically uses our breath as a focal point to which we return to over and over, however there are other practices such as body scans, walking meditation and lovingkindness (metta) that can also be useful.  Together we will find the practice that resonates with you and I will support you in learning and integrating it into your life.

 

 

Karen introduced me to yoga in a corporate class in our offices. When I walked in I could barely walk on my football battered knees and was resigned to living with the pain. Through her inspired teaching, patient but insistent instruction on yoga poses and particularly the flow between poses, I learned to expect to accomplish things I previously thought impossible. I thank Karen with every painless step I take. She has a genuine interest in seeing her students succeed and an enviable ability to encourage effort (I call her 'coach'!).

 

Jerry P.

 

 

For more than 20 years, I have had the good fortune of being able to work with Karen in a Yoga program that has allowed me to be more limber and relaxed than many of my contemporaries. Although I've always appreciated her skills and abilities, what she designed for me after I shattered my shoulder in a bad fall was truly remarkable. Karen tailored a yoga program that significantly increased and enhanced my mobility. Her talent, combined with her extraordinary gentleness and people skills, has helped me lead a fuller and richer life.

 

Mary A.

 

After getting a taste of meditation while attending yoga classes, I became interested in establishing a regular meditation practice for myself at home.  Karen is a wonderful teacher for me. She has a calm, grounded style which helped to demystify the process of learning to meditate.  When I have questions, Karen patiently helps me to reach a place of clarity.  And when I let life get in the way of my intention to meditate regularly, Karen encourages me, in her gentle and humorous way, to get back to my cushion.

 

Claudia C.

 

Reiki

Rei means universal spirit and Ki means life energy.  The practice of Reiki is a form of gentle, hands-on healing where the giver acts as a channel to conduct this spiritually guided life energy into the body of the receiver. Reiki acts to open blocks to the receiver’s already-existing life force, balancing and increasing its flow wherever necessary.

 

Anyone can receive Reiki.  It is not a substitute for professional medical or psychological care, but can work beautifully as a complementary healing and wellness practice.

 

Benefits of Reiki may include:

 

  • Deep relaxation, aiding the body in releasing stress and tension

  • Acceleration of the body’s healing abilities

  • Better sleep

  • Reduced blood pressure

  • Pain relief

  • Removal of energy blockages and increase of inner balance and harmony

  • Improved immune system function

  • Increased vitality

  • Emotional clearing and spiritual growth

 

Individual Reiki sessions

 

Sessions last an hour and may be held in your home, or in a convenient downtown Manhattan location.

 

Yoga/Reiki combo sessions

 

Sessions last 90 minutes and consist of 45 minutes of personalized yoga and 45 minutes of Reiki.

 

 

I very much enjoy my Reiki sessions with Karen.  She has a calming spirit and a gentle touch. Our sessions serve to deeply relax my mind and body in a way that feels restorative and important to my overall well being. I’m grateful for the opportunity to invest in myself, and to Karen for her energy and light.

Sylvie S.

I own a business, and have experienced some difficulties with people in a position of power over me and my business.  As a woman, I also had trouble expressing my power and needs when it came to interactions with men. Right before our session, I found myself unable to enunciate my voice.  Karen came to me shortly after that, and I booked my first session with her.
    During the treatment, I felt intense heat when she was working near my throat.  At that time, I actually heard a voice say, ‘Use your voice.'  I know, it sounds hokey, but it’s 100% true. Literally within a week’s time I had used my voice, commanded respect and attention to big issues that were greatly affecting my business and things began to change immediately.   
    I’m a Reiki practitioner myself, and very selective of who I choose to work on me.  I can honestly say, Karen has a magic touch about her.  She’s kind, warm and deeply cares about her clients' well-being. 

Jen L.