Toward Becoming a Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Teacher: Best Practice Guidelines

by David Emerson, E-RYT

Trauma is a disease of our time. From one angle, estimates show that at least 1 in 4 adults in the United States have suffered some form of life changing trauma. Pilot studies at the Trauma Center have shown that yoga can be an effective adjunct treatment for trauma survivors. For yoga teachers this is very important information. We can expect that several students in our average yoga studio or health club classes have experienced significant trauma and that yoga may be very beneficial for them if they can tolerate it. While many of those students may not have the diagnosis Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, some do and all will benefit from a yoga teacher who has a trauma-sensitive approach. The suggestion is that some trauma-sensitive modifications may help students tolerate yoga who in the past may have never returned for that second class.

Toward Becoming a Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Teacher: Best Practice Guidelines is an outline of how we modify yoga classes at the Trauma Center to be trauma-sensitive. Along with a presentation of several key modifications there is also a description of trauma-sensitive themes that teachers may want to incorporate. We have also included some handouts that we use during our trainings that help readers think about structuring a trauma-sensitive class. These guidelines for practice are intended to help yoga teachers modify their existing classes or begin to develop specific trauma-sensitive classes. Finally, this manuscript is intentionally non-clinical in nature in recognition that there are many other resources, many available on this website, that are designed for more intensive, clinician-lead intervention with traumatized individuals and groups.

All proceeds from the sale of this manuscript go directly to the yoga class fund at the Trauma Center. We do not turn anyone away for financial reasons.

Toward Becoming a Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Teacher: Best Practice Guidelines can be purchased online or by regular mail. Listed below are product prices plus shipping & handling costs for U.S.P.S. Priority Mail, both Domestic (USA), and International (including Canada and Mexico).

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Yoga Teacher Guidelines Plus Shipping & Handling Domestic Rate $7.00 Plus Shipping & Handling International Rate $15.00

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To purchase Toward Becoming a Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Teacher: Best Practice Guidelines via mail, print out this page and send it, along with a personal check, cashier's check, or money order payable to The Trauma Center at JRI, to:

The Trauma Center at JRI
Attn: Zachary Levko, Training Coordinator
1269 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02446

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