transcending sexual trauma through yoga online training launching soon!

Memories of sexually violent experiences can be intrusive, which can create challenges for survivors. These memories can also make it difficult for survivors who are looking to establish connection in their lives and learn how to trust again. The entire experience of practicing trauma-informed yoga, can help survivors find union between seemingly disconnected and challenging aspects of the self; allowing participants to slowly build the pieces into an integrated whole.

Regardless of the nature of the traumatic incident, survivors may suffer from the physical pain and emotional unrest that have permeated their lived experience long after the incident(s) of trauma occurred. There is no doubt that trauma impacts brain functioning. After experiencing trauma, the amygdala goes into over-drive and anticipates danger even when there is none. Trauma can leave the body feeling dis-regulated and unsafe. The practice of trauma-informed yoga can help survivors establish safety and resource their body in a way that feels authentic, manageable, and unique to their needs. 

Trauma impacts all areas of human functioning: the physical, mental, behavioral, social, and spiritual. So often, the impact of trauma is somatic. Survivors often times experience flashbacks, dis-regulated breathing, anxiety, depression, insomnia, GI issues, migraines, and many more. As a result, trauma treatment must consider the person as a whole. In yoga terms, trauma can elicit "vasanas" which are emotional imprints in the body that often times become deep rooted, hardwired, and lodged in various areas of the body depending on the nature of the trauma. These vasanas can impact the nervous system, the endocrine system, and our physiology and cause a variety of trauma symptoms, dissociation, physical pain, and illness when left undigested (Amy Wheeler). By working to heal the body, we can create a  critical pathway to safety and embodiment for our clients.  

This comprehensive training will provide yoga teachers, mental health professionals, or anyone interested in teaching from a trauma-informed lens with all of the necessary tools to create a safe environment for survivors of sexual trauma:

Opening: Creating Safety and Introduction to the Training

Lecture 1: The Brain, the Nervous System, and our Capacity to Heal Trauma through Yoga

Lecture 2: Comprehensive Considerations for Teaching and Understanding Trauma-Informed Yoga

Lecture 3: An Overview of Therapeutic Yoga Techniques for Trauma Survivors 

Lecture 4: How to Build, Implement, and Launch a Trauma-Informed Yoga Program for Survivors 

Lecture 5: Teaching Trauma-Informed Meditation and the Impact of Trauma on the Chakras 

Lecture 6: Yoga Teacher Collaborations with Mental Health Professionals 

Lecture 7: An 8-week Self-Paced Yoga as Healing Series for Survivors

What you get:

  • 7 lectures on trauma-informed yoga
  • Access to 8 audio recordings of themed trauma-informed yoga classes + mini lectures to support integrating concepts off the mat
  • Comprehensive 200 page+ trauma-informed yoga resource guide with all relevant materials to implement a comprehensive, holistic, integrated, and sustainable program
  • An overview of the evidence-based research in support of trauma-informed yoga practices
  • An introduction to the neurobiology of trauma and the intersection of yoga
  • An explanation of the unique experiences of sexual assault survivors and benefits of holistic healing
  • Introduction to trauma-informed practices and language
  • A thorough overview of trauma-informed teaching dynamics and core considerations, including:
    • Empowerment-based Language
    • Integration of Choices
    • Supportive Presence
    • The Art of Assisting
    • Safety and Space
    • Invitation of Postures
    • Breath and Trauma
    • Themes and Philosophy Integration
    • Cultural Considerations and Accessibility
  • Tips for starting a yoga program for survivors of sexual trauma, including:
    • How to create buy-in from a university/agency
    • The power of collaborations
    • Working with mental health professionals
    • Identifying your audience
    • Building a curriculum
    • Group structure
    • Marketing
    • Assessment and liability
    • Share your Story
    • The Business of Yoga
  • Opportunities to connect online with other teachers in your training cohort

This training will leave you fully equipped to start a comprehensive trauma-informed yoga program for survivors of trauma. Registration will open in June 2017. To be notified of the launch, please fill out this

For survivors interested in just the 8-week Self-Paced Yoga as Healing Series:  

This program specifically focuses on self-acceptance and self-compassion and provides survivors with tangible benefits that may become noticeable throughout their practice. This gradual integration can be transformational and healing for survivors. This program provides the opportunity for survivors to: 

  • Access to 8 audio recordings of themed trauma-informed yoga classes
  • Find peace and healing through trauma-informed yoga practice     
  • Exercise the choices they have to move their body in ways that feel comfortable 
  • Learn to establish connection to self, trust others, and strengthen relationships     
  • Establish safety and stability in the body      
  • Tap into inner strength and build skills and positive coping mechanisms for managing painful experiences    
  • Regain power and control through mindful movements and reconnection to the body 

Yoga provides a safe and accessible way for survivors to explore their healing internally and uncovers layers of pain to get to the core of who they have always been. It offers them a beautiful form of expression that moves beyond trying to find the words to articulate how they feel. These inward experiences of healing on the yoga mat can elicit positive outcomes and tangible skills that survivors may have been working on for years in cognitive therapy to achieve. Past participants have shared that they were empowered to report to the police what had happened to them because they felt strong and stable in their bodies, others were able to be intimate again with a partner because they felt they could assertively communicate their boundaries, and many participants have shared their ability to take control of their binge eating because they no longer needed to have control in an unhealthy way.

Survivors have also shared that the yoga as healing program increased their confidence and self-esteem, helped them learn how to trust themselves and others, allowed them to develop a strong sense of community, helped them incorporate self-care strategies, and empowered them to seek other resources.

The course explores the following themes over an 8-week series:

Class 1: Intention and Orientation

Class 2: Safety

Class 3: Self-Care

Class 4: Boundaries

Class 5: Assertiveness

Class 6: Strength

Class 7: Trust

Class 8: Acceptance + Self-Love

Please note that this training does not replace formal treatment. If you are in crisis, please consider contacting the free and confidential National Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline for immediate support, local resources and options at 1-800-656-4673, visiting their online chatroom for support, or calling 911.

Students will be asked to complete a waiver before accessing the course materials.

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pricing option 1, full training package bundle

Full online training package (See full breakdown above; Includes 7 lectures, comprehensive resource manual, unlimited access to training materials, and bonus of 8 sample trauma-informed yoga classes as a part of an 8-week series for survivors of sexual assault): $650

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pricing option 2, individual lectures

Cost per individual training lecture (includes access to selected lecture and resource manual): $125 l Cost for survivor 8-week series: $180