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Speak Your Peace: An Introduction to Effective, Compassionate Communication

The practice of yoga moves off the mat and into the world when we compassionately communicate with one another. Please join us for an extraordinary opportunity to bring into your practice the vital 'pose' of relating well with other humans.

The Challenge

How often do you find yourself in conversations where you feel:

  • unheard;

  • that your message isn't going through;

  • that you just can't make yourself understood?

Do you wish you could really hear and be in dialogue about what matters for others whose thoughts and beliefs are very different from your own?

Do you find yourself having arguments, or being in conflict, with the same people, over and over again?

In interpersonal interactions, especially with loved ones, do you assume or expect the other person to know what you're thinking and feeling, and so fail to express what your true needs are? Does this dynamic leave you feeling hopeless about mattering to others?

Do you have a hard time saying No?

When you think about impending holiday family gatherings, do you feel dread, discouragement or a sense of being let down rather than excitement and delight?

The Longing

Imagine for a moment a different kind of relating—maybe even a challenging one—where you go away with a sense of satisfaction and gratitude because you've been heard and understood, and where you naturally receive empathy and compassion! In this different kind of relating, you effectively talk about your feelings and your needs, and are able to hear the feelings and needs of others. Imagine discussions where you safely relate caringly and compassionately with loved-ones or friends; where giving and receiving empathy is the norm rather than a dream or far-off fantasy!

How would you — and your life — be different if you were able to communicate in a way that reflects your longing for mutuality, care, support and meaningful connection? What if this type of communication were entirely within your reach, a skill you could acquire, a doable feat?  

As the insightful German writer and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe tells us, the things we long for tend to be sign posts that point not only to our true selves, but also to that which feels native to us and has a natural place in our lives when we actively invite it in: "Our desires are the harbinger of the capabilities that rest within us. They are the forerunners of what we will be able to do…; we feel a longing for what we already secretly possess."

The Solution

If you harbor a longing to communicate differently (whether with others or with yourself) join us for an opportunity to do yoga with your mouth as we explore Compassionate Communication, based on the practice of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) as developed by Marshall Rosenberg.

NVC in action relies on two vital questions: What is alive in us? and How can we make life more wonderful? A deeply compassionate, empathy-based model for communication and conflict resolution, NVC asserts that humans share universal needs, and when we know what others are needing, we naturally want to support them in meeting their needs, as well as receive support from others in meeting our needs.

In this introduction to Nonviolent Communication, Yoga Teacher and Life Coach Bridget Keller will demonstrate the concrete steps and strategies that support participants in moving toward a more effective mode of communicating that:

  • increases the potential to craft mutually beneficial strategies for meeting needs,

  • reduces the pain and suffering of unmet needs, and

  • deepens the quality of connection between individuals.

During this full-body experiential workshop, participants will have ample opportunity to practice the reliably life-affirming steps of the NVC model, namely:

  • observing without judging;

  • expressing how we feel about what we have observed;

  • sharing what we need in relation to our feelings, and

  • making doable requests of ourselves and others, to meet our needs.

This NVC starter course consists of: a pre-workshop reading assignment (time commitment no more than 30 minutes), and a short content lecture followed by significant amounts of active partner and group practice. It will conclude with a content-related, non-strenuous, gentle yoga asana session aimed at grounding the practice of NVC in the body. (The yoga portion requires no previous yoga experience)


* Please note: No refunds if cancelled within 48 hours or for no-shows

Bridget Keller, RTY-200 and Certified Life Coach, has been a student and practitioner of NVC since 2004. She leads full-body, experiential workshops in the fundamentals of Effective, Compassionate Communication at yoga studios in greater Boston.





Later Event: December 3
Asana Rx: Shoulder Opening Fun!