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Sex Birth Trauma with Kimberly Ann Johnson

May 31, 2021

In this episode, Kimberly and Hala discuss the nervous system’s role in self-regulation and social justice activism. Healing must happen individually and collectively by understanding and regulating the nervous system, establishing and maintaining heart-centered relationships, and working with each other towards liberation. They discuss how to move beyond one’s privilege towards discomfort in order to enact change for the greater good and why trauma-informed spaces are necessary for social justice activists and allies. Hala also describes the process of writing her book “Peace from Anxiety” and why it was written for this time.



Hala is a yoga teacher, somatic counselor, trauma therapist, social justice activist, author, mother, and co-founder of Off the Mat and Collective Resilience Yoga. “Peace from Anxiety: Get Grounded, Build Resilience and Stay Connected Amidst Chaos” is Hala’s latest book which combines somatic experiencing with social justice through an intersectional lens of privilege and power-dynamics.



What They Share 

—How and why “Peace from Anxiety” was written by Hala

—Importance of Critical Consciousness in Somatic Experiencing and healing

—Moving from fight-flight response to tend-befriend with social awareness and love for the other



What You’ll Hear

—Inception of first book as culmination of Hala’s teachings from past twenty years

—Book discusses anxiety and using somatic experiencing to cope

—Critical consciousness as awareness of socio-political context 

—Well-being includes equity and justice for everyone not just most privileged

—Healing can be individualized but have to expand compassion for others

—Move towards uncomfortable edges towards unfamiliar and discomfort

—Use self-regulation and healing to move towards discomfort

—Work is to turn towards one another

—How to move towards discomfort for privileged people

—Love people who are targeted in the world

—Change happens relationally through love not intellectually

—Change begins with heart and the body

—Tending to recent cultural reckonings regarding racism

—Creating trauma-informed spaces for healing and a bridge

—Addressing nervous system in social justice activism

—Understanding trauma and nervous system as we move towards liberation

—Hala returns to process of writing book which includes tips, tools, and practices



IG: @halayoga, @offthemat, @collectiveresilienceyoga