Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Teaching Certificate Program

*For Yoga Instructors*

Presenters: David Emerson, E-RYT, Jenn Turner, RYT, with special presentation by Elizabeth Hopper, Ph.D.

Dates: Four days: Thursday - Sunday, June 3 - 6, 2010; 10 hours syllabus-directed at-home work

Cost: $690.00 Full, $621.00 Group/Student; includes all aspects of certificate program, including training, consultation, and materials; all participants will receive a copy of the manuscript, "Toward Becoming a Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Teacher: Best Practice Guidelines".

Location: 1019 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA

Times: 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. each day


At the Trauma Center at JRI, we have begun to establish empirically that yoga may be helpful for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (van der Kolk, 2006). Along with feedback such as, "I feel like I can use my body again," the groundbreaking study that the Trauma Center conducted in 2004 showed that yoga changes core physiology related to PTSD. Since that time, the Trauma Center Yoga Program team has taught hundreds of classes to thousands of students from survivors of rape and childhood incest to Iraq war veterans. We are now offering a 40-hour certificate to certified yoga teachers who would like to teach trauma-sensitive classes in their communities.

Participants in this certificate program will learn:

  • How to start up a trauma-sensitive class, including guidance in identifying where such classes might be taught
  • How to modify existing yoga classes in order to make them trauma-sensitive
  • Chair and mat postures that can be taught to individuals with a wide range of physical ability
  • Cutting edge theories about trauma including neurophysiology from one of the world's leaders in the field

The certificate program will consist of the following:

  • Four days intensive training
  • 10 hours of work at home as directed by the syllabus
  • Availability of members of the Trauma Center Yoga Program for questions/guidance as needed.

In addition, participants may have the opportunity to apply skills by practice teaching a yoga class under the guidance of members of the TC Yoga Program. Participants in past programs who have had the opportunity to apply these skills in their own work will be invited to share with current participants their experience of the use of yoga as a part of healing the wounds of PTSD. Participants will hear from a panel of yoga teachers who have been teaching a variety of trauma-sensitive yoga classes, from Veterans to children and adolescents to women at a domestic violence shelter and more.

Prerequisites: Participants in this program should have completed, or be currently enrolled in, a 200-hour yoga instructor program. This workshop is designed for yoga instructors with interest in developing or enhancing trauma-sensitive yoga classes, rather than for mental health clinicians.

Note: Continuing education credits will NOT be available for psychologists for this program.

About the Presenters:

David Emerson, E-RYT, the Coordinator of Yoga Services Program at the Trauma Center JRI, is an accomplished yoga instructor and founder of the Black Lotus Yoga Project, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to the teaching of yoga to individuals with PTSD. Mr. Emerson was responsible for the implementation, supervision and oversight of the yoga intervention component of the two recent pilot studies conducted by Dr. van der Kolk to assess the utility and feasibility of yoga instruction with traumatized adults with PTSD. Mr. Emerson has extensive experience in the instruction of yoga with PTSD and mental illness populations, and has developed and conducted yoga groups for several rape crisis, domestic violence, mental health and Veterans Administration centers and clinics throughout Greater Boston. In addition, Mr. Emerson owns his own yoga studio in Cambridge, MA called Black Lotus Yoga.

Jenn Turner, M.A., RYT, is a skilled Kripalu yoga teacher. She currently leads yoga classes at the Trauma Center of Justice Institute in Brookline MA, where she co-designed the protocol and is teaching the classes for a three-year NIH study that examines the effects of yoga on female survivors of complex trauma. Jenn works as a psychotherapist specializing in merging addiction treatment and mindfulness practices in adult trauma survivors.

Elizabeth Hopper, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialization in traumatic stres and has worked with trauma survivors for the past twelve years. Dr. Hopper is the Associate Director of Training at the Trauma Center and coordinates the Certificate Program in Traumatic Stress Studies and the Trauma Center's Regional Training Series. She has conducted national outreach on traumatic stress and complex truma, focusing on cross-discipline training. She has been trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Neurofeedback, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). Dr. Hopper is also the Director of Project REACH, a program that serves victims of human trafficking throughout the United States, as well as a staff psychologist and supervisor at the Trauma Center.


Full Cost $690.00, click below

Group/Student $621.00, click below.