Yoga & Empowerment
By: Stacy Dockins, Founder of Yoga Project studios, Yoga and Mindfulness Educator, 500 Hour E-RYT, Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM-CES), and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), and author of Embodied Posture
Navigating daily life as a teenager can be a challenging feat. The teen years are times of rapid physiological change; and the demands of relationships, school, and family dynamics can be overwhelming. Add to this, an air-brushed, social media environment that makes it very difficult to avoid comparison and negative self-relationship. We are constantly bombarded with images of perfect bodies and glamorous lives. Research shows that 53% of 13-year-olds are unhappy with their bodies. This number grows to 78% by the time the girls reach 17. Per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, by mid-adolescence, girls are twice as likely to develop mood disorders as boys. This disparity could stem from the idea that girls develop faster in terms of emotional regulation as boys, and this sensitivity to emotional stimuli can make them vulnerable to anxiety disorders. The Embodied Posture Scholarship aims to empower young women with the skill of mindful awareness as a tool for increased self-compassion, and stress-resilience—as learned through the practice of yoga.
As a teen, I struggled with anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. It wasn’t until I gained the tools for self-compassion and stress-resilience that I learned how to navigate my life from a healthier space. I can vividly remember how gripping my emotions were and how inescapable they seemed. I simply didn’t have the tools to decipher between my thoughts, emotions, and who I was as a person. Yoga has been profoundly transformational for me, and I attribute its efficacy to the fact that it is a body-based practice. Because of the struggle of my teen years, I had become dis-embodied as a survival mechanism. I had shut-off my ability to land concretely in my body sensations. I am finding that this is a common pattern for many people, regardless of their experiences with anxiety or stress.
Re-learning how to sense my body and breath in postures, I discovered a way back home. Being in my body helped me foster new relationships with the tumultuous weather patterns in my mind, as well as gain a new sense of self. It gave me the tools to self-observe and regulate my emotional energy. Yoga taught me that I was normal, and ok—and that I held within me—tools for softening the blows of anxious feelings.
The Embodied Posture Scholarship was created out of my own personal experience and my desire to offer tools for increased wellness and empowerment to teen girls. I have been training yoga teachers since 2007 and have led numerous workshops and programs on mindfulness, stress physiology, breath anatomy, self-compassion, and wellness. Mindful awareness is at the heart of all my training programs. My passion and expertise lie within teaching anatomy and biomechanics as a means for increased awareness and agency.
I’ve had the privilege of training my daughter, my niece, and many other teen girls within our teacher programs and have witnessed these girls carry the tools gained from yoga into their college years. I am seeking a group of 20 diverse, young women between the ages of 15-20, who are experiencing some sort of financial hardship, to give full scholarships to attend our upcoming 10-day Yoga Teacher Training in Fort Worth, TX on July 25-Aug. 3rd. The main prerequisite is that the applicant has an interest in yoga and mindfulness. The program will focus on using yoga as a tool for cultivating self-compassion and stress-resilience. The girls will be taught:
- Yoga Posture Alignment for Diverse Bodies
- Basic Anatomy
- Skills to Deliver a Basic Yoga Class
- Physiology of Breath / Breathing Exercises
- Mindful Awareness Meditation
- Tools for Cultivating Compassionate Self- and Other-Relationships
- Stress Resilience Mechanisms
- Journaling Methodology for On-Going Self-Inquiry and Empowerment
For additional information and application, please visit: www.stacydockins.com
About Stacy Dockins
Yoga and mindfulness educator, Stacy Dockins, has dedicated over 25 years of her life to studying the human body and teaching yoga. Her immense understanding of the science and practice of yoga is supported by her Bachelors of Science and certifications in 500 Hour E-RYT, Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM-CES), and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP).
Stacy recently developed her first book, Embodied Posture, which empowers readers to align yoga postures to best suit one’s bio-individuality. This innovative perspective combines body awareness, science, and exploration, lending practical tools and information that can be immediately applied to the mat.
In addition, Stacy and her husband Dave own three leading yoga studios in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, called Yoga Project studios where she creates and directs yoga teacher training courses for 200 and 500 Hour RYT programs.
Through EdX.org, she co-taught the online course, “The Science and Practice of Yoga,” which had over 19,000 participants from around the globe thus far. Stacy has contributed to outlets such as Well+Good and I AM & CO.
You can find out more about Stacy and Embodied Posture, here.