Trauma-Sensitive Yoga

Click here to read A Brief History of Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TSY) at the Trauma Center

Click here for articles relating to our Yoga Program

How can a 5000 year old practice help people suffering from symptoms of Traumatic Stress with the only side effects being increased strength, flexibility, agility and relaxation? We began asking this question in 2003 and after our first series' of studies have started to accumulate some answers. Here is what some of our clients have told us:

"The yoga class helped to teach me how to relax and concentrate. I really enjoyed it and want to take more."

"I found myself coming to yoga when I had a bad day, even if I didn't want to, because it would help."

"I feel like I can use my body again."


LISTEN TO AUDIO! Please click here for a description of a chair-based yoga practice by David Emerson, E-RYT.


Private Yoga Consultation

We offer clients one-on-one yoga consults with a trained trauma therapist/certified yoga instructor. Consults are generally three sessions in length and may cover a variety of needs related to the use of yoga as an adjunctive trauma treatment. Consults will be tailored to clients' specific needs and goals. Examples of topics that may be covered in a yoga consultation are:

  • Introduction or re-introduction to yoga in a safe and private space
  • Recommendation for how to design or modify a yoga program to address personal triggers, challenges, and physical limitations
  • General psychoeducation about trauma and the body and ways in which yoga can help

Private yoga consultations are available on a self-pay basis only. For more information or to make a referral, please contact Jennifer Turner, M.A., RYT, at 617-232-1303, ext. 312.

Yoga Classes

We currently run women-only and men-only trauma sensitive yoga classes at the Trauma Center.

PARTICIPANTS ARE REQUIRED TO BE IN THERAPY, EITHER AT THE TRAUMA CENTER OR ELSEWHERE. INTERESTED CLIENTS (OR TC CLINICIANS) WILL FIRST NEED TO CONTACT REGINA MUSICARO, AT 617-232-1303, x310, FOR A SCREENING TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY.

The main objectives are to help participants feel comfortable in their bodies, to learn self-regulation skills, and to improve their ability to direct attention away from ruminative thought processes.

  • No experience necessary.
  • We strive to make the classes accessible to everybody regardless of physical ability.

Trauma-sensitive yoga is a way for us to safely experiment with having a body. Through yoga we can experiment with:

  • Breathing
  • Moving
  • Strengthening
  • Stretching
  • and, Resting

Our classes are set up so that students are in control over what they are doing with their body at all times and the teacher is there to provide safe, professional guidance and to help students focus on particular dynamics (what muscles they are using, what it feels like to have their feet on the ground, what it feels like to breathe, etc.)

Participants will not have to talk to other participants, making this class more comfortable for those individuals who find it difficult to be in groups.

Classes are open enrollment. If you are a therapist and would like more information about what your client can expect, please contact David Emerson and he will be glad to answer any questions you have.

For all inquiries, please contact Jenn Turner, Yoga Class Coordinator, at (617) 232-1303 ext 312 or jturner@jri.org.

What to Expect from a Trauma Center Yoga Class- David Emerson

PLEASE NOTE: Because our yoga room has limited space, class size is limited to 10. While this has been rare in our experience, unfortunately, we will need to turn students away after 10 have arrived.

Wednesday Women's Yoga Class

Where: The Trauma Center, 1269 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02446

Day and Time: Wednesday evenings, 6:30-7:30 P.M.

Instructor: Jenn Turner

Cost: $12.00 per class.

Please Note: If a sliding scale rate is needed, please contact Regina Musicaro, Yoga Services Coordinator, at (617) 232-1303 x-310 or rmusicaro@jri.org.

Thursday Men's Yoga Class

Where: The Trauma Center, 1269 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02446

Day and Time: Thursday evenings, 6:00-7:00 P.M.

Instructor: David Schouela.

Cost: $12.00 per class.

ATTENTION: Michael will substitute teach on October 2, 16, and 23. Class is cancelled October 9. David will return on October 30.

Please Note: If a sliding scale rate is needed, please contact Regina Musicaro, Yoga Services Coordinator, at (617) 232-1303 x-310 or rmusicaro@jri.org.

Saturday Women's Yoga Class

Where: The Trauma Center, 1269 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02446

Day and Time: Saturday mornings, 10:00 - 11:00 A.M.

Instructor: Anna Kharaz

ATTENTION: Emily Lapolice will substitute teach on October 18 and November 15.

Cost: $12.00

Please Note: If a sliding scale rate is needed, please contact Regina Musicaro, Yoga Services Coordinator, at (617) 232-1303 x-310 or rmusicaro@jri.org.

Attention: Saturday participants may enter class through the side door, up the stairs from the parking lot.

PLEASE NOTE: Because our yoga room has limited space, class size is limited to 10. While this has been rare in our experience, unfortunately, we will need to turn students away after 10 have arrived.

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Inclement Weather Policy: The Trauma Center will be closed if the City of Boston declares a "Snow Emergency/Parking Ban". If staff have access to phones and internet, messages will be added to our incoming phone message and to our website. However, you may go directly to the City of Boston website to see if a snow emergency has been announced.

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Community Classes

Our Community Class program is an opportunity for you to bring trauma sensitive yoga right into your professional setting. We work or have worked in a variety of settings including rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and veteran's centers. We will provide your center/agency with a yoga teacher trained in trauma sensitive yoga for a weekly one-hour class with duration to be negotiated according to your needs and teacher availability (ie. some classes are ongoing indefinitely while others rum on 8-week cycles.) The teacher will be part of an ongoing monthly consultation group at the Trauma Center JRI and will have access to Trauma Center clinicians for additional guidance and support should clinical issues arise. The cost to your agency for each 1-hour class is $150 or $1,500 for a 12-class session, and that includes transportation (fees will increase for travel if outside of greater Boston).

For all inquiries, please email demerson@jri.org.

 

Training

The Trauma Center Yoga Program offers training for both clinicians who want to incorporate a little yoga into their clinical practice and yoga teachers who want to teach trauma sensitive yoga classes. Please visit the Training Institute for upcoming Workshop dates, as well as the Specialty Training section of this website.

Here's what some of our participants had to say:

"I consider the Trauma Center's trauma-sensitive yoga training one of the most influential trainings I've done in my almost 10 years of yoga teaching (and I've studied with Desikachar, so that says a lot!). Thank you for doing this! I loved it!" -- Linda, Yoga Teacher.

"I attended the yoga workshop at Camp Lejeune this past spring with Jodi and Dave (after attending the Trauma & Treatment Conference with Dr. van der Kolk in Durham, NC, two weeks earlier.) Both have changed how I work with clients in my private practice. So, Thank You to all so much!!!" -- quote from a clinician working with combat veterans.

"(I) had a great experience developing a yoga program at a residential school for adolescent girls with trauma histories. I felt so well-prepared to accomplish what I envisioned because of the Trauma Center training, and again I can't thank you enough for sharing your knowledge and expertise with me." -- Katie, Yoga Teacher.

Supervision available for yoga teachers offering trauma sensitive classes:

If you are conducting trauma sensitive classes, consider monthly supervision with Dave Emerson, Director of Yoga Services at the Trauma Center. Supervision will give you a chance to talk about your experiences in these unique classes, get some new ideas and also advertise yourself as being supervised by the Trauma Center Yoga Program. Supervision can be conducted in person or over the phone. Please email demerson@jri.org.

For a list of certified TSY facilitators, please click here.

To learn more about Trauma Sensitive Yoga, please click here.

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