Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher Trainings with Nityda
What is "trauma-informed" yoga?
The foundation of a Trauma-Informed Yoga class is a thorough knowledge, understanding, and respect of the impact that trauma has on one’s body, mind, nervous system, sense of self, and worldview. This knowledge and understanding evolve from having studied and researched the impacts of trauma. This respect comes from an intuitive calling and a divine choice to prioritize the best interest and benefit of the trauma survivor above all else. Together this knowledge, understanding, and respect informs the class’s structure, style, and execution.
The goal of a trauma-informed yoga class is to give survivors a voice and offer them the ability to make their own choices for themselves (a right that had been taken during the act of trauma). The class is about the students, not the teacher. It’s empowering for the survivors and allows for a safe, supportive, and collective space for them to re-experience and reconnect to their bodies while realizing they can fit into the world and they are not alone.
Why should I learn trauma-informed yoga?
First off, the prevalence of trauma is profound: The statistics I’m going to share are not pleasant, but real. One in ten children are sexually abused before the age of 181 . More than 700,000 children are abused in the U.S. annually2 . One in four women and one in seven men will be victims of Domestic Violence (DV) or abuse in their lifetimes3 . Many of these survivors have children- approximately 3.3 million to 10 million children in the U.S. are exposed to DV every year4 . One in five women and one in 71 men in the U.S. will be raped at some point in their lives15
Seventy percent of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event in their lives . An estimated 8% of Americans (24.4 million people) meet the criteria for a diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at any given time.
This means that in a yoga class of 25 students, at least two of them are experiencing active trauma reactions and PTSD.
There is a light in all this, and for many survivors of these unspeakable tragedies, a yoga practice is that guiding light. There is an abundance of research that supports yoga as an effective modality for treating trauma and PTSD. Because of this, doctors, nurses, therapists, teachers, caseworkers and other helping professionals are referring trauma survivors to yoga regularly.
Given the statistics, the likelihood that today’s yoga teacher will teach yoga to trauma survivors is 100%. If we look at the numbers, any teacher who teaches regularly for as little as a week is highly likely to be teaching trauma survivors. And for those teachers who do yoga service work, teaching in hospitals, prisons, rehab centers, shelters, mental health clinics, eating disorder centers, etc, it is expected to have some classes where 100% of the students are trauma survivors. Knowing how to teach yoga from a trauma-conscious perspective is critical.