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.

1 Darkness to Light, Stewards of Children Training on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

2 National Children’s Alliance

3 Safe Horizon

4 Safe Horizon

5 National Sexual Violence Resource Center

6 PTSD United

Take a peek at the course outline and objectives...

Education and Context.

Students will:

  • Receive psychoeducation on trauma: What it is and its prevalence, the ways in which trauma can manifest, an understanding of the various “trauma reactions” that occur for many trauma survivors, an understanding of the criteria someone must meet to receive a PTSD diagnosis, and the methodology used to give someone this diagnosis
  • Discover how trauma impacts the brain, nervous system and mind-body connection
  • Learn the breakthroughs made by modern-day scientific research that support yoga and meditation as vehicles for reversing the damage created by trauma

Teaching through the Trauma Conscious Lens.

Students will:

  • Receive thorough guidance around the Trauma-Conscious Approach to Yoga
    • What it is
      • The language and approach that creates a trauma informed class
    • Why and how to use it within various yoga settings (public studio, rehab center, hospital, etc), and when it is indicated or useful
    • Which meditation, pranayamas, and yoga poses are most effective in working with trauma survivors and why; which poses/techniques are to be approached with caution
  • Practice teach:
    • Practice how to guide clients through the meditation, breathing techniques and yoga poses discussed
    • Gain tools for teaching in a variety of non-traditional settings/yoga service settings: tools for teaching in schools, hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation and residential centers, prisons, and shelters, etc.
    • Learn troubleshooting techniques
      • How to approach a student who is triggered or becomes dysregulated during class
  • Build insight around how to bring a trauma-conscious class to a local studio or the larger community

Ready to bring Nityda to your yoga studio or wellness center? Click here!