“Kaitlyn Vittozzi, C-IAYT is a Yoga Therapist who helps anyone feeling anxious, exhausted, and disconnected from their own bodies. She started teaching yoga as exercise in 2014 and got used to seeing people leave the class with a sense of peace, and then have something in the parking lot throw them back to a state of dis-ease so she started studying yoga therapy so that she could help individuals take the tools of yoga off the mat and into their lives.”
About Kaitlyn Vittozzi
Kaitlyn Vittozzi, C-IAYT is a Yoga Therapist who helps anyone feeling anxious, exhausted, and disconnected from their own bodies. She started teaching yoga as exercise in 2015 and got used to seeing people leave the class with a sense of peace, and then have something in the parking lot throw them back to a state of dis-ease so she started studying yoga therapy so that she could help individuals take the tools of yoga off the mat and into their lives. Using movement, meditation, and relaxation techniques, they’ll learn the skills they need to recenter, and create a clear path to move forward with an emphasis on independence, embodiment and self-care. She also has specialized training in perinatal mood disorders and works with couples, especially new parents. Kaitlyn teaches paddle board yoga and is the Life in Balance columnist for Rochester Woman Online.
I understand what it feels like to go to talk therapy, get the best education, the best partner, and it still feels like something is wrong. All trauma has an impact on the body – whether it shows up as an ache, pain or emotion. One of the best calls I can receive is from a therapist who says someone has done a lot of tough personal work, and now they need to start to be with their body. I have over 745 hours of trauma-informed yoga therapy training and traumatic for birthing people through 2020 MOM. In addition to postpartum moms, I work with caregivers and parents, because if they can show up and be present for themselves, they’ll show up more to the people that need them. I also teach therapeutic yoga classes for eating disorder recovery.
My Interest in Working with Survivors
Nobody should have to live life feeling disconnected from their body. Through breath, movement and relaxation, yoga therapy can help survivors gently and slowly start to be present to their bodies again without being retraumatized. Survivors deserve to have an ease and freedom of movement so that mind and body can work together, with less stress and reactivity.
My Approach to Trauma-Informed Care
I approach care holistically. Clients may pay attention to their physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual sensations in session, and it all gets to be there. A yoga therapy session is a space to experience yourself in the present moment, without judgment.
Yoga Therapy is all about learning what your body has to say. Classes or individual yoga therapy sessions begin with gentle joint warm-ups, and then breath and movement and some slow postures that could be any combination of sitting, standing or on the floor. No prior yoga experience is required. Sessions conclude with meditation and reflection, so you can take something meaningful from each session into the other 23 hours of your day.
How My Practice Holistically Addresses the Impacts of Sexual Trauma
The body is a wealth of knowledge, and it is countercultural to pay any attention to it unless we’re trying to fix it or change it. Through the Phoenix Rising themes of embodiment, awareness, acceptance, and choice, my clients can start to notice the subtle sensations and cues their body provides both in and out of session. The client will leave each session with something to take home and practice that is meaningful to them. There is no shame in not doing something perfectly since yoga is a practice. We will check in to see if the practice is having a positive impact, and if something is getting in the way, we will come up with a plan together that fits the client’s lifestyle.
Modifications for Survivors
Whenever anyone comes into the studio they get a tour of the space. Nobody is forced to share their story on any timeline. I don’t use a lot of hands-on assists, however, I am sure to gain consent twice before incorporating any touch. Each client works at their own edge, so there is no expectation or agenda for how anyone should be progressing. Our work together is about being and noticing. There is room in each session to work with whatever shows up for the client without agenda. For instance, a client might come in with tense shoulders so we will do some shoulder stretches and then if the client notices they feel exhausted, we will move to more restorative postures.
My practice is accountable to the International Association of Yoga Therapists, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Yoga Alliance, and my colleagues at the studio where I rent space and teach.