Judy Thompson

Judy Thompson MSC, C-IAYT, RYT500, AYT

Integrative Yoga Therapist

Judy’s background includes a Bachelor of Science in Wellness and Alternative Medicine, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Ayurvedic Wellness Practices, and a Master of Science (MSc) in Yoga Therapy. She incorporates integrated modalities as she works with clients to create their own toolbox of healing and self-care.

Judy’s path with healing and wellness evolved following traumas in her youth and young adult life. At age 12, she was injured in an accident that resulted in the fracture of her cervical vertebrae, and she began a life-long practice of stabilizing physical injury with physical pain. As a young adult, she was diagnosed with a congenital condition that sympathized her body into a constant state of Tachycardia. These two precedents created a way of being that was unexplainable and challenging to accept. Her field of awareness expanded outside of the constraints of anxiety and trauma through the use of yoga, mantra, meditation, elements of Ayurveda wellness, and creative art-making.

Through her own journey navigating wellness, Judy created Sakala School of Integrative Teaching, with the vision to elevate the clinical model of care through integrative teachings. Created specifically for mental healthcare and education professionals, Sakala School’s Witnessing Beauty Yoga Teacher Training program aligns with trauma-informed methodologies that emphasize principles of neuroscience and ancient philosophies, while focusing on the domains of post-traumatic growth.

Judy's Presentations


Synergizing Post-Traumatic Growth Through Yoga-Based Practices

Working with clients who have a trauma background can require an approach that touches upon healing through many layers of the body. Most clinicians have had a client sitting in front of them and been a witness to how trauma isolates, traps, and even paralyzes a client from being able to communicate in a way that is verbally effective. Neuroscience would say that the experience and memory is implicitly lodged in the body, and that neither the area of the brain that can access the memory, nor speak about the experience, is accessible through conscious awareness and words. Yet, the body is dynamic; it changes. In just 60 seconds, the body makes 3.8 million cells, and these cells give new life to the outer body of the skin, as well as the inner workings of the gut, lungs, heart, and particularly the blood, with the brain alone mapping 100,000 miles of blood vessels. Through repatterning and neural processing of the autonomic nervous system, and self-directed regulation of the body through movement, breathing, mantra, mudra, and meditation (collectively referred to as yoga-based practices), it is possible for a client to begin to access deeper internal awareness, embolden their own understanding of what their body needs, and fuel the beginning of curiosity, change, and neuroplastic growth. The opportunity for change and growth through yoga-based practices, alongside aspects of curiosity and choice, invite the client to connect more deeply to both quality of life and meaning of life, and herein they discover their own vastness within post-traumatic growth.

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