Health Podcast Post

How to Connect with Yourself with Kaity Holsapple

George Grombacher September 15, 2022

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How to Connect with Yourself with Kaity Holsapple

LifeBlood: We talked about how to connect with yourself, healing from PTSD, approaching our feelings with neutrality, how to become a better thinker, and how to get started, with Kaity Holsapple, creator of Somatic Yoga Therapy. 

Listen to learn how to get started connecting with yourself!

You can learn more about Kaity at, Instagram and  YouTube.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher


Kaity Holsapple

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Come on one blood flow. This is George G and the time is right welcome today’s guest strong and powerful Katie Holsapple. Katie, are you ready to do this? I am. All right, excited to have you on. Katie is a survivor of sexual trauma. Through her journey of healing her own PTSD. She channeled and created somatic yoga therapy, integrative healing art form that gently and effectively alchemize his trauma into soul power. Katie, tell us a little more about your personal life’s more about your work and why you do what you do.

Unknown Speaker 0:41
Absolutely, yeah. So really somatic yoga therapy. And my work has all been born from my own hands on firsthand experience of healing and recovering from sexual trauma, both from sexual abuse when I was younger, and then later adulthood sexual trauma. And my path really took me in the, in the midst of all all of this quite deeply into the yoga tradition, which brought me into a really deep and powerful connection with my body, which is really what the whole realm of Cymatics is all about. It’s connecting with the body, in order to integrate and digest experiences from the past that were too intense, too painful, too much too traumatic, to fully be actually released. And these experiences really stay stored in our tissues and our emotional bodies and our energy bodies, even until we’re fully able to take time to digest them to release them. And so that’s been a big part of the initial process for me was really turning to yoga in order to create more like a deepened connection with my body, because sexual trauma has a nature of really dissociating. And one spirit, one’s consciousness out of the body, we kind of live out of body for much of life after an experience like that. And so yoga is really powerful for bringing more stability, bringing more safety, bringing more groundedness and presence back into the body. And then the Cymatics component, which is just a way of going even deeper inside is so transformative, first starting to identify where some of these blockages are, to gently begin to offer these blockages, what they need in order to digest and be resolved. And what’s really cool is that through this process, what I found, and what I’ve guided many women through is, as we start to comb through and release some of these, not some of these past traumas, some of these experiences, we’re also creating more internal space for all of what I call our soul powers to begin to root in and come more online, all of those gifts, and really superpowers that each one of us are born on this earth with whether that be your creativity, or your leadership, or your nourishment, you’re really all of these different skills in association with you being an expanded full, vibrant self, that starts to be able to come more and more online. So it’s this process that I’ve, again, been through in my own initiation, but also guide many women through of releasing the past and stepping more into fullest expression of who you are born and who you’re destined to be. It’s really powerful.

george grombacher 3:44
What’s really sounds like it. We’re Have you always been a yogi?

Unknown Speaker 3:53
I have Well, definitely in spirit. My dad also is a yoga teacher. So he’s he’s definitely been a big influence and has woven a lot of especially more of the mindfulness and meditation tools into my life from quite a young age. And I started practicing yoga. When I was in my early teens, and did my yoga teacher training later in my teens and so I’ve yoga has been a big part of my, my journey in my process for a long time, both in the more meditative components and also the movement, which I’ve also always been a mover, I come from a really active family and really movement oriented family. And so my body and being able to move and be active has always been a core component to my life and who I am and now it’s also this beautiful, powerful tool that I get to connect to for deeper healing and deeper awakening.

george grombacher 4:55
You’ve mentioned a couple of times the mindfulness piece of Yoga? Or maybe I’m wrong, I guess the question is, or perhaps better asked your somatic yoga therapy. Tell me all about the different components of it. What, what, what? What makes it it?

Unknown Speaker 5:18
Yeah. So when most people think of yoga, I’m thinking of going to the yoga studio doing perhaps like a Vinyasa flow class, or a hot yoga class, or there’s even restorative and yeah, and there’s many different types of physical yoga. But the actual postures that we know of in the West is what yoga is, that’s only like, the smallest fraction of what yoga actually is. And in fact, most of the yoga postures that we practice in the West, and actually, that’s been quite globalized in the past several decades, it are only about 100 years old, if that. And most of the heart of yoga is based in meditation, and mindfulness and spirituality. And so, the asana, the postures are really more of tools that we get to use in order to connect more with that space of soul and what what I’ve called mindfulness or a meditative state, really, what the asana, yoga, can become infused with the right intentionality is meditation in motion. And I love this too, because one sector of yoga that I’m really interested in talks quite deeply around how your yoga practice or your meditation practice, it’s not just that our or that 15 minutes every day that you come to meditate, or you come to your mat and do your yoga practice, it’s actually how you infuse those moments of mindfulness and meditation and presence and connection with your body throughout your day and throughout your life. And that’s actually a key part of somatic yoga therapy, somatic yoga therapy is radically different from any yoga that you would do at a studio. It’s one on one, it’s really personalized. And it’s not super oriented around Asana, there’s definitely a movement component to it. But rather than, for example, if you go to a group yoga class, you’ll have a teacher who’s guiding you through different postures and different sequences until shavasana at the end, which is amazing and so important, and a part of what I offer as well, but especially in the somatic work, what we’re doing instead is really accessing the asana from within, which means that we’re really tuning into the felt sense sensation in the body and allowing the body to guide how it wants and needs to move in order to again, release whatever blockages are there and step into more full expansion. So what that can often look like because, and this is a big question I get is like, what does that even look like, if we’re not being told what to do? We’re really in the somatic yoga therapy process, guiding you into a deeper connection of being able to name and make contact with become more intimate with sensations in your body. And examples of this would be like when you’re hungry, you have a sensation of hunger, you have to pee, you feel the sensation of your bladder being full, right? Those are very foundational, but there are a whole there’s a whole world of sensations in our body that are communicating.

Unknown Speaker 8:32
Loads of information to us on really connected actually with feel organic intelligence, just like a tree knows how to grow to the sun, just like a flower knows how to open. And so when we can tap into that language of the body and learn how to speak how to relate with it, the body starts to move and really organic, natural ways. And oftentimes, even in sessions will bring up intuitive yoga postures that actually come from the inside out rather than from the outside. And so that’s a really core piece of the process as well as, as you mentioned, really infusing mindfulness into every moment and especially mindfulness around sensations and the felt sense in our body, which we oftentimes look at, feel into and connect with and what can be kind of a judgmental way there are sensations we really like to cling on to others we really like to push away from right we love the sensations that are pleasurable. We don’t really like sensations that are uncomfortable from part of what the meditative consciousness and mindfulness does is it brings more neutrality to all the sensations that you feel. And when you approach the sensational body with neutrality, all of a sudden, all of those like ways that we grid lock ourselves in that pattern of attachment and aversion of holding on to what we want pushing away what we don’t want the kind gets the system really stuck. When we can approach our sensations with neutrality, all of a sudden, there’s a lot more space inside and a lot more movement inside. And so that’s a big part of what I, what I work with people on especially foundationally is can we just approach what sensations are inside the body with neutrality without that judgment of like, I don’t like this or even I want more of this, can we just let ourselves be in the experience, feel the experience, and oftentimes, it only takes about 90 seconds of being with a sensation, before it actually starts to move, shift and evolve into something different, especially if you can hold that practice of I’m just going to witness observe, not judge this. It’s oftentimes the stories in our mind that gets our sensation and our energy really stuck and wound up.

george grombacher 10:56
Isn’t that the truth?

Unknown Speaker 10:59
Definitely my experience, yeah,

george grombacher 11:00
I’m awesome at thinking myself into a pretzel. So we, we with with Western medicine, we don’t think and talk about like a mind body connection. It’s my brains here, my body’s there. Do people need to be open to this? If they’re closed off to the ideas of of, of healing through? And I don’t know, somatically? If that’s the right term or not? Or, or? Or do they? I don’t know, if you understand my question.

Unknown Speaker 11:37
Yeah, I think I think I understand in terms of like, maybe perhaps, like, what type of people would benefit from this? Or like, where do you have to be at in order to connect with somatic Rome? And yeah, that’s a really great question. Because we are such a heavy culture and society, especially in the US, where there is a lot of just like, it’s bred in US criticism, judgment, overthinking, overdoing, over achieving perfectionism, people pleasing all of these, like really mental parts of us. And there can be a lot of stubbornness there a lot of protectiveness, too, that people have around, you know, oftentimes, when we’re really stuck in our heads, it’s usually related to there’s some sort of protection happening, because at some point in life, we had the experience that it wasn’t safe to be with our feelings, it wasn’t safe to be in our bodies. And so many people kind of dissociate into just the thinking realm, and even very active people, you know, athletes and people who go to the gym quite often can still be, you know, more in that heady realm. And there’s, you know, there are a lot of practices and benefits to staying more up here in the head realm, like you can do affirmations, you can do talk therapy, you can do coaching, and many people find a lot of benefits with that even meditation can sometimes be more of like a mental process. However, if you’re looking for like a deeper rooted change, deeper rooted shift, it’s my belief that all of us is humans, every single person who has a body, we need to learn how to actually embody our body, right. And part of that is learning how to feel. Part of that is learning how to connect to sensations in the soma, which means the inner body. So I believe this is like really important for, for all humans, I think it would change the world that we lived in, if everyone had a deeper connection to their embodied experience. And if we could all get out of that heavy zone a little bit more, I think there would be a lot more joy and ease to

george grombacher 13:57
I don’t think that there’s any question that that’s true. I know that me personally, I, I fall into the trap of just falling into my brain trap, right? And just trying to overthink everything, and It’s mind over matter, and bla bla bla bla bla, but that phrase embody your body. That’s super powerful.

Unknown Speaker 14:17
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And you know, some people are going to be wired to be more like a feeler than others people. Some people are more emotional, and they’re more connected with you the intuitive side of things other people are, are more logical, quite inherently and are more structured and more mental. And so it is going to depend a bit on like your makeup and where you’re at. And I think it’s especially important for those of us who are pretty logical people to start learning how to explore more of those intuitive feeling spaces because that’s part of where humanity lives. And I think a lot of us up here, especially with perfectionism, living in the hamster wheel of the mind that can go a million miles an hour, and put so much pressure on ourselves, it’s almost like we become less human, we dehumanize ourselves when we’re just living up in the brain in the mind. And so, so part of that like dropping in, I feel like is really connected with on a bigger spiritual level or energetic level, our ability to connect more with the body, but that also represents the earth in general and the land and mother nature and bringing more of like those connection points back together rather than in this is one of the definitions of trauma, a fragmentation, a separation, a disconnect. So just being able to reconnect to our own bodies, I also feel and I’ve seen, this helps us reconnect to our planet and the earth and a sense of rootedness belonging, of Yes, space, like I belong here, this is my place, this is my space.

george grombacher 16:09
It strikes me that are, from my experience, that we all could benefit what it is that you’re describing. We all came into the world who we were perfect, being perfect person. And then we just got crap piled on top of us, either through terrible experiences, or just, you know, death by 1000 cuts of you need to act this way. And this is what you’re supposed to be doing, and just expectations and everything else and just experience. So the more that we can tap into or go through the process that you’ve been describing. I see zero reason why anybody wouldn’t do that.

Unknown Speaker 16:50
Yeah. Hang on, you’re so right, there are so many layers of interjects that we pulled as if they’re our own, like, This is who I am. This is like actually what I believe. And when you get a little bit more like closer to yourself, which also means closer to your body, your beingness, then you have the opportunity to really like reevaluate these things be like, Is this really me? Or is this something that I’ve just taken in and taken on, that’s not actually mine, but it’s not actually who I am. So then we get to become more of our, our actual selves, and less of who we think we should be, or how we’ve been kind of programmed or conditioned to be, you get to actually step into who you uniquely are and what you truly believe. And you know, what you truly think and not just believe everything, and every single thought that comes to your mind, because our thoughts are not really that trustworthy. Usually our thoughts, like 90% of them are just repeats from past thoughts that we’ve had before. Right? So they’re not new. And they’re usually based in the past. They’re not oftentimes based in Present Moment reality at all. Yeah, some part of the human psyche is so addicted to just believing everything that we think. And that leads to a lot of stuckness. And one way to help break out of that, again, it’s just going to be coming back to the felt sense being with your feeling states. And it’s not easy to do that, especially when you have a lot of mental conditioning. That’s been designed to keep you away from your feelings. It’s been designed to keep you away from emotionality or anything that feels a little bit like less concrete, less solid.

george grombacher 18:38
So many cool things, and so many really powerful things that you just really touched on. I mean, they’re my thoughts. So I’m probably I’m probably protective of them. And certainly very possessive of them, even though to your point. I mean, they’re not they’re not that they’re rarely right. But they’re not always right by any stretch of the imagination. And a lot of the time it is just me replaying crappy stuff that’s happened to me in the past. And that’s not that’s not helping me at all, unless I’m actively working to, to, to remedy them somehow, but nine times out of 10 It’s just, I’m just thinking back to past crappy stuff. And it’s not serving me at all. So yeah. So how do we how do I how how do I get started with this?

Unknown Speaker 19:22
Yeah. So there’s kind of two trains of thought, coming through my mind right now. One is like working with the thinking part of part of ourselves, especially if you find yourself to be one of those people who does get kind of stuck in the mind. I think all of us can be at different points in our lives. But definitely some of us have a stronger wiring toward that mental hamster wheel. And that’s just the process of really beginning to question whether everything that you think is actually true, like when you have a thought you can just take a moment this is really like conspired by Byron Katie, if anyone’s familiar with her work, which is called the work, just, is this thought actually true? Is this actually based in reality? And if so, how do I like how do I actually know this is true. And that gives you a little bit of moment of like space, of freedom of being able to challenge those really automatic and oftentimes, trauma wired or blockage, wired thought patterns that come up when we have small triggers that feels similar to past experiences. But really, our thoughts in general are not very trustworthy. So if we can get into the practice of reminding ourselves that and kind of questioning that that can be really important. And that can almost create a bit of a portal to go deeper into the body. Because one defensive mechanism that might come up is, as you start to connect more with your sensations or emotions, even that thinking part of the mind might come on and say, This is dumb, this is stupid, why am I doing this? Or why am I feeling this way, don’t get it, I don’t understand it, all of those layers of judgment of thought that come online, which actually are oftentimes trying to keep us away from our feelings, because there’s been some experience in the past where feeling was like, too much too overwhelming, not safe. And so working with bringing even more safety into the body, bringing more safety into the mind as well, creating more internal space, which there are a lot of ways you can do this.

Unknown Speaker 21:34
One of which, from like a strict nervous system perspective is working with vagal, nerve toning, which I have a whole series on, on my website we can share, that will take you through several practices that are going to be a great bridge from that mental space into the body for creating more internal space, and also for creating more bandwidth in your nervous system to go toward feeling. Once that bandwidth and that safety is there. It’s really just what we talked about earlier, can I name the sensations that I feel so anytime you name a sensation aloud, I feel heaviness in my stomach, I feel like a breaking in my heart, I feel warmth in my cheeks, anything like just that symbol is going to start to bring more communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain and start to integrate, start to move sensations. If we can stay with feeling what we feel for 90 seconds, just stay with it. Like that’s your meditation, that’s your meditation practice, just to name what sensations I’m feeling and neutrally stay with it. If I find that judgment comes up, just do my best to let that go to soften that to question it if it’s really sticky and stubborn. And just stay with the sensations. And even as you stay with the sensations really letting yourself get close to them and get really intimate with the details. Like one thing that I teach a lot of my students is we can connect with the sensation and describe it in as much detail as possible, allowed, that’s doing so much beneficial work in the brain and the nervous system. For example, if we take that, like, you know, heavy feeling in the guts, and say, of course, I feel a heaviness in my gut. But then we can get even closer to that well like what’s the texture of that heaviness? Does it feel gritty? Does it feel solid or like Oh, liquidity, and it might be like, Oh, it actually feels kind of like a rock. Great. So it feels like a rock. And it has like a heaviness and density to it. And so we can just get like a lot of details and information. And almost imagine that you could take that sensation, and put it on a piece of paper, like you’re doing a drawing of it or creating a visual representation of it. Getting those details around what you feel inside, while accepting embracing state doing your best to stay neutral and open toward it curious toward it rather than, again, that trap of like, Ooh, I don’t like this, I’m going to push it away. That is really, it’s really quite powerful. So I’ll just kind of recap what I’ve shared the first stage is to kind of increase bandwidth increase the sense of safety both mentally, physically in the body can those vagus nerve practices are are one really powerful way to do that. And then the second is to connect more with the felt sense and to go more internally name sensations that you feel. And even if you set a timer on your phone or something for 90 seconds, and just give yourself that time, like Can I just stay with this and do this for 90 seconds, and then I can go back to the mental stuff. And then I can like go back to my avoidance patterns. But can I just stay with this for 90 seconds, and then that’s going to start to build up more inner trust and more bandwidth to actually stay with the feelings and stay with the sensations as they do come up in the body and it’s going to help create a bit more A bridge where you can embody your body.

george grombacher 25:03
Love it. Okay, um, thank you so much for coming on where can people learn more about you? And how can they engage with you and somatic yoga therapy.

Unknown Speaker 25:14
So you can go to my website, which is her temple That’s where you can also find the vagus nerve free series that you can sign up there and you’ll get videos to your inbox with those vagus nerve practices. You’re also welcome to follow me on Instagram, which is just at her dot temple dot healing, which has a lot of great resources there as well. And yeah, on my webpage, you’ll find more information on one on one work on trainings on retreats, lots of opportunities to get started and deepen into this. Really what I feel is magical work.

george grombacher 25:50
Love it. If you enjoyed this as much as I did showcase to your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to her temple and check out all the great resources check out the training on the vagus nerve and find her on Instagram at her temple dot healing as well. Thanks again, Katie. Thank you, and until next time, keep fighting the good fights. We’re all in this together.

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