Trauma-Informed Yoga Workshop
NOTE: This workshop is designed to be most impactful for yoga teachers, but is also open to group fitness instructors, practitioners of other healing arts, social workers, direct service providers, teachers, and others eager to learn about how trauma may affect the lives of those they work with and mindfulness tools they can implement to work towards healing.
“Trauma” has become a popular term in our twenty-first century lexicon. We are more easily able to witness worldwide violence and wealth disparities, and emotional and mental wellness are becoming more central to the Western understanding of health. How we understand trauma and its impacts are key to individual and communal healing.
In this workshop & conversation, we will discuss:
-What counts as trauma? Why do people experience and heal from it differently?
-Overview of structural changes to brain after a traumatic event or series of events
-Symptoms and effects of traumatic experience
-Fight, flight, or freeze and the long term implications that play out in the body
-Yoga poses (asana), breathwork (pranayama), and techniques that promote resiliency, re-integrate mind & body, and change brain patterns
We’ll look at the ways we are used to leading a practice, and talk about changes we can make to ensure we are being as inclusive and sensitive as possible through aspects of a yoga class including:
-Empowering words & phrasing
-Intentional touch and adjustments
-Beneficial use of props
By implementing a trauma-informed practice, we are not implying every student is hurt or fragile. Just as we teach safe physical alignment to all students whether or not they are injured, we can teach all students from a trauma-informed perspective to err on the side of caution. This hard work is about creating safe spaces to prevent feelings of inadequacy, powerlessness, or shame, whether or not students have experienced a trauma themselves, vicariously, or at all.
It is understood that participants in the workshop may already have experience working in communities experiencing or healing from trauma. Your input and experience is welcome through thoughtful discussion to help all of us learn and grow in this important work.