A conversation with Lynn Stoller, OT, MS, OTR, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, YACEP, YU-QP3 and Megan Hennessey Schofield, M.Ed., RYT. Moderated by Erin Flynn, MS, OTR/L
Recorded October 2022
Description: Sensory-Enhanced Yoga® applies techniques from sensory-based occupational therapy practices as well as recent findings from the fields of neurobiology and trauma psychology to address core symptoms of PTSD and related quality of life factors. The program is especially informed by the highly successful treatment protocol used in the Iraq Yoga Study with deployed U.S. military personnel (Stoller et al, 2012), from which the program evolved, as well the specialized expertise of the Sensory-Enhanced Yoga® Institute (SEYI) faculty. Sensory-Enhanced Yoga® is designed to help meet the following goals:
- Decrease hypervigilance and overreaction to sensory input (e.g.visual, crowds, touch, noise, movement).
- Improve quality of sleep and energy level to support wellness and enhance daily productivity.
- Decrease intrusive thoughts by learning to become present through breath and body awareness.
- Enhance one’s sense of self-worth and personal empowerment.
Lynn Stoller, founder and president of the SEYI, will join us along with her colleague Megan Hennessey Schofield to present the development of SEY, how the brain responds to yoga, and introduce us to the SMYLE program. Megan is a certified special education teacher and director of the institute’s SMYLE™ (Sensory and Mindfulness-based Yoga for Learning Environments) program. There will be PowerPoint slides incorporated into this discussion.
Learning Objectives: By the end of the 2022 LiveTalk Series participants will be able to:
- Identify how to increase mental health knowledge for occupational therapy professionals across settings
- Recognize relationship and developmental based mental health models that compliment Sensory Integration intervention
- Select intervention modalities and models that support mental health while utilizing Sensory Integration principles
By the end of this discussion, part 8 of 10 in the 2022 LiveTalk Series, participants will be able to:
- Identify how trauma affects sensory processing and brain function.
- Identify a key mechanism by which yoga helps to rebalance the traumatized brain.
- Differentiate when to implement the Sensory-Enhanced Yoga® and the SMYLE™ program in various environments.
About the Speakers:
Lynn Stoller, OT, MS, OTR, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, YACEP, YU-QP3: Lynn is the Founding President of the Sensory-Enhanced Yoga® Institute. She has a special interest in war-related sensory processing disorders and yoga as a treatment modality. Lynn has trained yoga instructors and health professionals in sensory-based yoga techniques for combat stress and PTSD since 2008. Lynn is associate investigator and first author of the Iraq yoga study, “Effects of Sensory-Enhanced Yoga on Symptoms of Combat Stress in Deployed Military Personnel” (Stoller et al, Jan/Feb 2012 AJOT) for which she was honored with the 2013 AOTA Cordelia Myers Writer’s Award. Her program, “Sensory-Enhanced Yoga® for Self-Regulation & Trauma Healing” evolved from the highly successful treatment protocol used in the study, which Lynn co-developed. She has authored a book with the same title, which was published in 2019 by Handspring Publishing. Lynn was an influential faculty member of two pioneering veteran/military yoga organizations, Yoga Warriors (2008-2011) and Warriors at Ease (2011-2016). Lynn also worked for 36 years as an occupational therapist at Cotting School in Lexington, MA, where she first realized the healing power of yoga for adolescents and young adults who have anxiety, ADHD, sensory modulation disorders, and related ANS disorders. Lynn is a 300-hr. and 800-hr. graduate of the Integrative Yoga Therapy program, a Level 2 iRest® practitioner, and is an IAYT-certified yoga therapist. In addition to her other private and group therapy work, she has been teaching therapeutic yoga classes for veterans in her local community for over a decade and has been an invited guest speaker for professional groups and veterans organizations.
Megan Hennessey Schofield, M.Ed., RYT: For eight years, Megan has taught classrooms of students who have moderate to severe special needs (and high anxiety) at Cotting School in Lexington, MA and the High School in Needham, MA. She quickly gained a reputation for her talent of structuring her classroom for promoting effective learning through sensory-based, mindfulness strategies and meditation practices. She has presented talks and written articles on the topic and inspired many of her colleagues at Cotting School to adopt her techniques. She taught her students invaluable tools that help them quiet their minds, improve their level of self-awareness, and be more present to learn in the classroom. Megan is also a passionate yogi and has completed yoga and meditation workshops around the world including Kripalu Center, Hariharalaya Yoga Retreat Center in Cambodia, The Sanctuary in Thailand, as well as a 200-hour yoga training at Embrace Energy Yoga School in Thailand. Megan completed Jon Kabat Zinn’s 8-week course on Mindfulness-based Stressed Reduction in June 2017. Megan is co-creator and Director of the Sensory and Mindfulness-based Yoga for Learning Environments™ (SMYLE™) program, which is the child-focused version of the Institute’s Sensory-Enhanced Yoga® program.
Disclosure: Ms. Stoller and Ms. Hennessey Schofield have no financial relationship to disclose.
Course Level: Introductory
Audience: OT/ OTA, PT /PTA, SLP, psychologists, educators, parents
AOTA Areas: Occupational Therapy Service Delivery: Evaluation, Intervention and Outcomes. Foundational Knowledge: Social Determinants of Health
Contact Hours: This conversation is worth 1 contact hour or 0.1 AOTA CEUs. The full series has been approved for 10 contact hours or 1.0 AOTA CEUs.
Completion Requirements: To receive credit for this course you must listen to the discussion in its entirety and complete the accompanying assessment.
ADA/Section 504: If you require special accommodations, please contact the Spiral Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org
Continuing Education: Occupational Therapy Practitioners/ Occupational Therapy Assistants: Foundation is an Approved Provider of Continuing Education for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants by the American Occupational Therapy Association. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.