Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teaching Certificate Program

*For Yoga Instructors*

Please Note: This program is now full. To be placed on the waitlist, please contact

Shannon Holt at

Presenters: Dave Emerson, E-RYT, Jenn Turner, M.A., RYT

Dates: June 9-12, 2011

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

Location: Brookline, MA

Days 1, 2, and 4 (Thursday, Friday, Sunday, June 9, 10,12): Temple Sinai, 50 Sewall Avenue, Brookline, MA

Day 3: (Saturday, June 11): Holiday Inn, 1200 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA

Cost: $680.00 Full, $612.00 Group/Student


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 credit for psychologists will NOT be available for this training workshop.

About the Presenters:

David Emerson, E-RYT, is 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 received her Masters of Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Trauma Specialization from Lesley University. Ms. Turner's past training experiences include work with female survivors of trauma and substance abuse treatment in both residential and hospital settings. A Kripalu Certified Yoga Instructor, Ms. Turner teaches a weekly yoga class at the Trauma Center. Drawing from her experience, Ms. Turner integrates mindfulness practices into the therapeutic setting.

Please be sure to submit both the Registration form as well as payment, using one of the links below.

Please Note: This program is now full. To be placed on the waitlist, please contact

Shannon Holt at


Full Cost $680.00, click below

Group/Student, $612.00

Note: Registration at Group/Student rate requires proof of current student status at a degree-granting program, or 3+ registrants from the same institution at the same time.