Workshops, Trainings and Retreats
Loretta offers workshops, trainings, retreats, and keynotes for helping professionals, social workers, counselors, activists, teachers, faith leaders, and others interested in social change and mind-body practices. All offerings are uniquely designed for the specific context and/or organizational need and emphasize experiential and interactive learning along with scholarly presentation. Fees are negotiated based on context and budget. Descriptions of workshops are below.
Healing Justice and Self-Care
Healing justice, a core dimension of transformative justice, is a practice of healing disconnection that may be a result of trauma, internalized oppression, and the pressures of the larger socio-economic environment. Participants explore self-compassion and self-care as a social justice issue and develop personalized healing justice plans. The workshop addresses the evidence base that points to the power of self-care and mindfulness for stress reduction and well-being, offering experiences and exercises that facilitate re-connecting to mind, body and spirit. It helps practitioners to find more focus, meaning, and joy in their work and balance in their lives, both personally and collectively.
The Healing Justice Organization
This workshop is appropriate for organizations that want to attenuate the ways that trauma, oppression, and the pressures of the larger socio-economic environment can sabotage organizational efforts. Drawing from the research on organizational structures and culture and trauma-informed systems of care, the workshop emphasizes how to cultivate conditions for worker well-being, rights, and empowerment. Workshop participants engage in organizational self-assessments, learn conscious communication strategies, and develop organizational change plans.
Bringing Mindfulness into Your Practice
This workshop teaches basic mindfulness skills with the goal of practitioners developing their own mindfulness practice as they endeavor to help their clients bring more mindfulness into their lives. This workshop addresses the research on mindfulness, including its limits. Applications of mindfulness for specific populations as well as contraindications are addressed.
Conscious Communication is a powerful practice for individuals, groups and organizations who want to strengthen their capabilities to listen, identify shared needs, validate differences, and heal disconnection. Through experiential learning and inquiry, participants learn the philosophy, framework, and practices of conscious listening, communication, and conflict transformation. The workshop approaches conscious communication as a mindfulness-based practice that can attend to issues of power and social location.
Embodiment and Somatic Inquiry for Practice
Using gentle yoga and somatic inquiry, the workshop creates the space for practitioners to develop the tools to cultivate greater awareness of themselves in their bodies. Using physical movement and mindfulness of the body, as well as group and self-inquiry, participants learn to develop a greater relationship to themselves and to use somatic wisdom to inform their practice and lives. Participants can learn some basic strategies for using somatic inquiry with clients.
Introduction to Trauma-Informed Yoga
This workshop will teach practitioners the science and basic skills of trauma-informed yoga. The implications are relevant for therapists working with people who have experienced trauma and complex trauma who want to include some basic chair yoga in their practice. It is also appropriate for yoga teachers who want to be more trauma-informed and inclusive in their group classes.
Self-Compassion and Lovingkindness in Practice
In this workshop, participants learn about the research on self-compassion and lovingkindness practice and their impacts on emotional wellbeing, health, and interpersonal functioning. Participants engage in critical and cultural inquiry in regard to one’s own quality of self-compassion and learn about and practice lovingkindness practice as a pathway to healing. The workshop offers ways to incorporate these practices for oneself and for clients.
Yoga nidra, or the yoga of “sleep” is a powerful meditation technique, and one of the easiest yoga practices to develop and maintain. It is appropriate for all bodies and ages and the workshop will review the scientific data that shows how it can reduce stress, improve sleep, and help with anxiety, pain, trauma, and depression. Participants will have an opportunity to experience the practice and to learn about its applicability for oneself and one’s clients.
Meditation Sampler: Choosing and Committing to a Regular Meditation Practice
Participants are introduced to a variety of meditation styles, including concentration practices, mindfulness practices, lovingkindness meditation, movement meditations, and mantra. During the workshop, students experience the practices, integrate them, and engage in self and group inquiry about them. The anticipated outcome of the workshop is that participants will have the tools to cultivate a regular meditation practice that is right for them, and have the ability to address barriers to sustaining it.
The purpose of this workshop is to enhance practitioner and educator capacities to engage in self-reflective, participatory social justice practice focusing on community engagement, inclusivity, indigenous leadership development, organizational sustainability, and reflective evaluation. The workshop offers liberatory tools, including individual practices such as meditation and breath work, as well as group practices such as conscious communication and Theater of the Oppressed activities, helping participants build and sustain their knowledge and skills. The workshop utilizes pedagogies that draw from contemplative traditions and popular education.
Creating Spaces for Economic Justice
This workshop is for activists who want to engage in personal and group work around de-constructing the current economic system and envisioning and practicing for solidarity economics. Exercises focus on developing personal and group awareness and skills around the globalized economy, personal consumption patterns, and cooperation.
The Disaster Resilient Community/Organization
This workshop offers participants the chance to learn about the causes and impacts of natural and technological disasters globally and locally, with particular attention to the ways that the most vulnerable people are impacted. Communities and organizations will learn about disaster prevention, preparedness, relief, and recovery. Through experiential activities, participants will have a chance to assess their contexts and draft preliminary plans for community safety and solidarity.
"She is an incredible teacher and has a great way of connecting to her students."
"My gosh, she's a true social worker...we really felt heard."
"Loretta embodies the concepts she teaches. She is an exemplary professional role model and human being! She created a safe and exciting learning environment ripe with the conditions for curiosity, critical inquiry, self-awareness, and personal transformation to flourish. I am so grateful to have learned with and from her."
"I learned how to be more mindful in situations. I learned a lot about myself and who I am as a person. [I was] challenge[d] to think critically about myself but then to accept it and appreciate who I am."
"Loretta is authentic and honest and very inviting. I always feel able to share my true experience with her and ask for real feedback. I trust that she is thinking about me as a whole person and she makes decisions and recommendations as such."
“Dr. Pyles demonstrated extensive knowledge as well as an ability to communicate content to attendees across learning styles.”
“I thought the workshop was extremely interesting and informative. The practice piece offered during this course was exceptional and helped me to better understand how to apply Mindfulness techniques. I would definitely recommend.”
“Loretta’s style, engagement with participant feedback, and knowledge of content was remarkable.”
“I wanted to let you know that I have continued practicing yoga and mindfulness several times a week, but more importantly have been very fortunate to facilitate a stress reduction and relaxation class through my job. The class is wonderful and all its participants so far have been grateful for the experience. It has been incredibly helpful to have the background knowledge from your class to pass on to other individuals. Thanks again for a wonderful opportunity!”