Trauma-informed yoga is tailored to address trauma’s impact on the entire mind-body system. The intention of this type of practice is to help a person suffering from trauma to center their minds and unhook from negative thoughts, inviting calm both mentally and physically.
A trauma-informed yoga class consists of a safe calm space, simple yoga poses, no hands-on adjustments, and gentle verbal guidance as an invitation for students to feel confident and in charge of their bodies and themselves. Teachers act as “safe space holders” so students may get to know themselves in the space, transcended from suffering, feeling supported and held.A trauma-informed teacher must understand that healing occurs from the inside out and resist the urge to fix, manage, advise or control their students.
Grounding poses with attention on foundation, breath awareness and gentle movement, allows students to become used to physical sensation without fear of harm. They can start to feel safe and secure, take charge of their own bodies, change their outlook and feel empowered. Alternately, if they need to spend the class in Child’s Pose, that’s OK. If they can’t close their eyes when suggested to them, that is also OK. It’s imperative to allow autonomy of their own bodies and their space in the class.