Trauma-sensitive yoga can be an excellent compliment or alternative to talk therapy.
By focusing on the felt sense of the body to inform choice-making, trauma-sensitive yoga helps participants restore their body-mind connection, explore their physical expression, and cultivate a sense of safety and agency that is often compromised as a result of traumatic events or sustained complex trauma.
But what *is* trauma-sensitive yoga?
Trauma-sensitive yoga is "an empirically validated, clinical intervention for complex trauma or chronic, treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder." (Justice Resource Institute, jri.org)
It is based on components of asana yoga practice, featuring a series of facilitator-demonstrated postures. Unlike Americanized yoga fitness classes, it does not emphasize the external appearance or "correct" form of a posture.
Instead, the focus is on creating a safe experience to explore and deepen your ability to tune in to your body's signals and wisdom.
There are no physical hands-on adjustments from the facilitator. I will be your guide, but you will lead your experience.
You do not need prior yoga experience, nor a high level of fitness or flexibility to benefit from and enjoy trauma-sensitive yoga. Sessions are accessible to all bodies, regardless of size, age, stamina or ability.
Many clients report the experience of trauma-informed yoga to be empowering, creative, playful, cathartic, fun and emotionally healing.
“Making peace with your body is your mighty act of revolution. It is your contribution to a changed planet where we might all live unapologetically in the bodies we have.”
― Sonya Renee Taylor, The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love (2018)
my yoga experience
I'm a 200-hour registered yoga teacher (RYT-200) and have completed the 20-hour training in Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga with Jenn Turner, LMHC, RYT, TCTSY-F.
I have experience facilitating trauma-sensitive yoga in an intensive outpatient setting for adults in recovery from substance use disorders. Clients shared with me that trauma-informed yoga practice aided their addiction recovery by helping them to tune into and become comfortable with the physical presence of emotions instead of relying on old coping methods of substance use to suppress or avoid feeling.
I currently offer trauma-sensitive yoga in a private format by appointment only. I am exploring options for hosting a public trauma-sensitive yoga group in Austin in 2022.
Please email me to receive updates about group classes, inquire about private yoga sessions, or to just ask questions to learn more. I love connecting with others about this work!
Personal Positionality Statement: Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice that originated in India and has historically been exploited or marginalized by colonizers. I, as a White American, do not claim any ties to or supremacy over this culture, nor do I attempt to emulate or erase the traditions of this practice. Instead, I offer a clinician's interpretation of the beauty of yoga's foundational principles to assist in mental and emotional healing. I highly recommend you seek out traditional yoga practitioners to deepen your knowledge and appreciation of this incredible practice.