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Somatic Healing Classes

Join us for donation-based yoga, art, and movement classes.

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Class Descriptions
Gentle Grief & Trauma-Informed Yoga

Wednesdays, 9:30 - 10:30 AM

Unity Spiritual Center | Family Village Cooperative

3021 S University Blvd. Denver, CO 80210

Unity class is also available via Live Stream. Register below to receive the Zoom link via email.

Learn how grief, trauma, and stress are held in the body and how to work with them from a mind-body-spirit approach. This is a gentle 55-minute class for all ages, abilities, cultures, faith backgrounds, and sexual orientations. Everyone is welcome. Please bring a water bottle, a yoga mat (we have extras to borrow), and any other yoga props you may want.

 

Sketching for Fun (all levels)

Wednesdays, 10:45 am - 11:45 pm | June 5 - July 3

Also located at Unity Spiritual Center following morning yoga.

Taught by Betty Arca

Sketching classes allow time for social engagement & connection around grief. No experience required. Come with an open mind and heart to connect to others as you draw, color, or sketch. Please bring: (1) 8x11 (or bigger) spiral-bound sketch pad & (2) #2 pencils.

Schedule

  • June 5: Suspend Critical Thinking | Learn how to draw from the “right side” of the brain

  • June 12: Background and Space | Learn perspective by drawing familiar objects

  • June 26: Borderless Sketching | Don’t be stopped by the edge of the page (6/19 cancelled)

  • July 3: Inversion | Draw a detailed image and reverse colors the 2nd time.

Gentle Grief & Trauma-Informed Somatic Movement

Mondays, 6:30 - 7:30 PM 

AdventHealth Porter Hospital

2525 S Downing St. Denver, CO 80210

2nd Level Conference Center

Learn how grief, trauma, and stress are held in the body and how to work with them from a mind-body-spirit approach. This is a gentle 55-minute class for all ages, abilities, cultures, faith backgrounds, and sexual orientations. Everyone is welcome. Please bring a water bottle, a fitness mat (we have extras to borrow), and any other props you may want.

Classes are all donation based - only pay what you can!

About Our Teacher Volunteers: Amy Pickett-Williams, LCSW, RYT has been providing grief psychotherapy for over 25 years.  She brings a somatic-based (mind/body/spirit) perspective to her practice. As a yoga teacher, she believes these tools need to be accessible to all people to support healing and growth from their grief and trauma.  

 

Betty Arca is an artist and a retired teacher. With her creativity, she started and owned the magnificent Wizard's Chest, a unique toy and costume store that also promotes social engagement through gaming.  ​

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Class Schedule
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Big News!

Not only did we set up at a few new locations - we're adding more donation-based classes around the Denver community, including the following locations:

  • East Community Center in Littleton

  • Denver Public Library

  • HeartLight Center

Check back soon for additional classes, their dates/times, and new locations. 

Our Class Space
Readings & Poetry From Class

2/21/24 How The Light Comes By Jan Richardson I cannot tell you how the light comes. What I know is that it is more ancient than imagining. That it travels across an astounding expanse to reach us. That it loves searching out what is hidden what is lost what is forgotten or in peril or in pain. That it has a fondness for the body for finding its way toward flesh for tracing the edges of form for shining forth through the eye, the hand, the heart. I cannot tell you how the light comes, but that it does. That it will. That it works its way into the deepest dark that enfolds you, though it may seem long ages in coming or arrive in a shape you did not foresee. And so may we this day turn ourselves toward it. May we lift our faces to let it find us. May we bend our bodies to follow the arc it makes. May we open and open more and open still to the blessed light that comes.

2/28/24 Opening and Closing - The Bird's Wings By Rumi Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror up to where you are bravely working. Expecting the worst, you look, and instead, here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see. Your hand opens and closes, and opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced  and coordinated  as birds' wings.

3/6/24 Mornings at Blackwater By Mary Oliver ​For years, every morning, I drank from Blackwater Pond. It was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt, the feet of ducks. And always it assuaged me from the dry bowl of the very far past. What I want to say is that the past is the past, and the present is what your life is, and you are capable of choosing what that will be, darling citizen. So come to the pond, or the river of your imagination, or the harbor of your longing, and put your lips to the world. And live your life.

3/13/24 Forest By Nikita Gill ​One day when you wake up, you will find that you have become a forest.  You have grown roots and found strength in them that no one thought you had.  You have become stronger and more beautiful, full of life-giving qualities.  You have learned to take all the negativity around you and turn it into oxygen for easy breathing.  A host of wild creatures live inside you and you call them stories.  A variety of different birds rest inside your mind and you call them memories.  You have become an incredible self-sustaining thing of epic proportions.  And you should be so proud of yourself, of how far you have come from the seeds of who you used to be.

3/20/24 Wild Geese By Mary Oliver You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

4/3/24 Lost and Found Again By Jennifer Healy ​Grief is not my burden to bear, but an anchor in love that I’ve learned to lower gently in a sea of despair. Thrown over with haste, too sure, and I am thrown too. I am humble when I hold it. I let it take my rage and turn it into perfume. It’s a secret peace treaty that I signed with the moon. Otherwise, the tides would throw me too.  Oh, how I dream of listening to you. Walking back, no shoes, I feel you in each step. Still, I can’t touch your face, no matter how many years I have left to walk. I feel so lost, so found with each breath. I almost don’t know how to live without what I’ve known because it just stays with me wherever I go. I wouldn’t wish to change that—no, not anymore. I don’t wish for the unlived life when I already have one to live. Some days, I admit, I would like to walk out the door, go looking for traces of you. Maybe, I’d find more. Or even, something entirely new.  So, if you ever come looking for me, but I’m somewhere out in the world, I hope you’ll stay awhile. Be patient with me. I might be honoring my treaty with the moon, but I left a candle in the window of my heart so I could find my way back home.

4/15/24 Ajna, Third Eye Chakra By Jacqueline Ann ​The light that sears the shadow is what the world is made of, and you are made of the world. The original thread runs through you too, weaves you to the path of this life. You are embodied for a reason — to be submerged in healing, in feelings that yearn to be held. Sorrow is an anchor, joy a mast, anger the cannon that blasts the hull, fear a white-bellied whale that swallows the sea and you. You are embodied for a reason — to stretch your horizon until it reaches infinity, to become the conduit of unity, to receive the light of consciousness and the clarity it promises. Indigo inspiration. Womb of creation. Your body receives the universe, is built from its singular song. A thousand suns, a thousand rays of light punctuate the night to bring the message home. As above, so below. In the silence of knowing, your soul will settle and the fog will lift to reveal a rainbow: the unbridled bliss of scattered perception looping in on the light of itself. See how the spectrum stretches to accommodate every perspective then bends them back to the original palette where we are cut of the same fabric; Every rainbow is unified in light. It is your birthright to soar — to be lifted like a leaf on an autumn breath, to be laid bare at the altar of ascension. Your intention is to fly. The illusion comes undone. Your eyes are two moons, your third eye: the sun. Your organs are made of sky and your skin is the honey hive that builds you from sweetness. The sugar nectar of life does not die in life’s absence. You are that you are that you are the life-giving star of love.

4/24/24 How to Live Like a Water Lily By Annette Langlois Grunseth ​Wake up slowly, float in a dreamy world, silky arms folded over your face until mid-morning, then open wide, sun-warmed awake. Breathe from more than one place, soft and supple. Do not worry about today or tomorrow or care what others think of you. Your radiant center is tough, strong, nourished by water and light. Wind and wave may engulf you but you can easily separate from submersion, opening your face to the heavens. Push back beads of wet darkness. Move freely. Make white water circles until afternoon, when you fold softly back into yourself, drowning in the dimming daylight.

5/1/24 One Life By Anon ​One song can spark a moment, One flower can wake the dream One tree can start a forest, One bird can herald spring. One smile begins a friendship, One handclasp lifts a soul. One star can guide a ship at sea, One word can frame the goal One vote can change a nation, One sunbeam lights a room One candle wipes out darkness, One laugh will conquer gloom. One step must start each journey. One word must start each prayer. One hope will raise our spirits, One touch can show you care. One voice can speak with wisdom, One heart can know what's true, One life can make a difference.

5/8/24 When Great Trees Fall

 By Maya Angelou When great trees fall,
 rocks on distant hills shudder,
 lions hunker down
 in tall grasses,
 and even elephants
 lumber after safety.

 When great trees fall
 in forests,
 small things recoil into silence,
 their senses
 eroded beyond fear.

 When great souls die,
 the air around us becomes
 light, rare, sterile.
 We breathe, briefly. Our eyes, briefly,
 see with
 a hurtful clarity.
 Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
 examines,
 gnaws on kind words
 unsaid,
 promised walks
 never taken.
 Great souls die and
 our reality, bound to
 them, takes leave of us.
 Our souls,
 dependent upon their
 nurture,
 now shrink, wizened.
 Our minds, formed
 and informed by their
 radiance,
fall away.
 We are not so much maddened
 as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
 caves.

 And when great souls die,
 after a period peace blooms,
 slowly and always
 irregularly. Spaces fill
 with a kind of
 soothing electric vibration.
 Our senses, restored, never
 to be the same, whisper to us.
 They existed. They existed.
 We can be. Be and be
 better. For they existed.

6/5/24 Why not?
 By Julia Fehrenbacher If death is inevitable, if it is a sure thing that this face, these hands, this body that holds a lifetime of this living, will, someday, no longer be here, if you don’t get to take a single thing with you — then — why spend a moment more refusing, worrying about who might disapprove, measuring every move as if there is some fixed formula you must find? Why hold tight to anything? Why not, instead, love every honeyed drop of yourself, why not leap into life—belly-laughing and light, light like the soft kiss of moonlight, light like the light that you are, have always been, will always be— why not take this quickly passing day by the hand and dance like there’s no tomorrow? And if you’re too tired to dance, why not rest lightly here just as you are?

6/17/24 Clearing By Martha Postlethwaite Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose. Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently, until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped hands and you recognize and greet it. Only then will you know how to give yourself to this world so worthy of rescue.

6/25/24 from Charlotte's Web

 By E.B. White “Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.” “You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”

7/1/24 When I am Among the Trees By Mary Oliver When I am among the trees, especially the willows and the honey locust, equally the beech, the oaks and the pines, they give off such hints of gladness. I would almost say that they save me, and daily. I am so distant from the hope of myself, in which I have goodness, and discernment, and never hurry through the world but walk slowly, and bow often. Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, “Stay awhile.” The light flows from their branches. And they call again, “It's simple,” they say, “and you too have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.”

7/3/24 Lost By David Wagoner Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here, And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, Must ask permission to know it and be known. The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, I have made this place around you. If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here. No two trees are the same to Raven. No two branches are the same to Wren. If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you, You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows Where you are. You must let it find you.

7/8/24 Heavy By Mary Oliver That time I thought I could not go any closer to grief without dying I went closer, and I did not die. Surely God had his hand in this, as well as friends. Still, I was bent, and my laughter, as the poet said, was nowhere to be found. Then said my friend Daniel, (brave even among lions), “It’s not the weight you carry but how you carry it – books, bricks, grief – it’s all in the way you embrace it, balance it, carry it when you cannot, and would not, put it down.” So I went practicing. Have you noticed? Have you heard the laughter that comes, now and again, out of my startled mouth? How I linger to admire, admire, admire the things of this world that are kind, and maybe also troubled – roses in the wind, the sea geese on the steep waves, a love to which there is no reply?

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