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Carol Verner, LMBT, RYT

Telephone: (919) 933-2330

Carol Verner owns Moving Into Wholeness in Chapel Hill, a center for healing through embodied awareness. Appointments and classes remain on-line or by phone during pandemic conditions. Carol is a Certified Somatic Coach, Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist (NC # 1301), Registered Craniosacral Therapist, and Registered Yoga Teacher. She also teaches the core principles and practices of embodied education in the Spirit of Learning® Teacher Training Program.

Adapting to Changes Brought on by COVID-19: From Chaos to Claiming a Vision of Lasting Transformation

By By Carol Verner, LMBT, RYT

Carol Verner

As a hands-on therapist and yoga teacher, my work falls exactly into the high-risk category during COVID-19 shutdowns. Massage therapy sessions put people too close together and for too long a duration. Yoga classes are too many people in a room too close together. I am fortunate to be a resilient person with a “tuck and roll” outlook on life’s unknowns. The one clear path forward that I could see in mid-March was to tool up to teach my Yoga classes on-line.

One week after I closed in-person classes, I started teaching yoga on Zoom. It is now such a familiar story! Not an IT person, I scrambled through Zoom’s on-line tutorials, determined, but not sure of what I was doing. Happily, I found mentors around me, people who knew a little more than I did. These kind people helped me resolve my questions, and classes went more smoothly. Four months later, we are safe, we are active, and we have adjusted well enough to the on-line format to feel gratitude for this community of “yoga buddies.” There were even unexpected bonuses!

A student who had moved away made a joyful return to the people and the class she loved. People who live far away found that I teach a science-based class, Yoga for Osteoporosis; they can now practice this bone-building protocol developed by Loren Fishman, MD. When the day comes and it is again safe to gather for classes, I will also continue teaching on-line, for the sake of those with no local teacher of this life-changing method.

But what about massage and bodywork? For years, clients came to me for relief from chronic pain, for stress management, for an oasis of self-care in their demanding lives. I broke down and wept when I fully confronted the fact that we could not work together for a long time. But then, I let my imagination roam. I saw that, with more than 30 years as a hands-on practitioner, I have many skills to help them yet. My detailed understanding of the nervous system and the structures of the body lead me to effective ways to support internal shifts toward relaxation. This is actually the very foundation of our innate self-regulating capacities.

I began by inviting clients to experience a wellness session by phone, at no charge, to learn if this is useful to them. The outcomes of these introductory and ongoing sessions ranged from positive to stellar results in reducing chronic pain and distress. We made a glorious experiment and discovered that they can easily be guided into their own healing processes. They have gained ease, comfort, upliftment—and often a welcome return of hope, as they learn new ways to work with difficult conditions in the safety of their homes. I offer these sessions at no charge to front line workers who are grateful for deep rest and renewal.

We are still so very much in the midst of this pandemic. I navigate the challenges with a more even keel now than I did in the first months. My heart is, by turns, full of gratitude for so many blessings, and rent with sorrow and anger at the catastrophes and injustices that befall so many. I am lacing up my boots and rolling up my sleeves to join my bit of strength with the strength of others to do the social justice work that is essential to ensure the wellbeing of all people.

A friend spoke recently of her vision of these times, of lasting transformation. These words excite me! This is what I most want for all of us. Lasting transformation is a redeeming potential, given all the ways that the pandemic and pervasive racism have and will continue to cause so much suffering. I am here to help. COVID-19 has done this: when have we ever been so together while so apart? Community collaboration makes us strong.