What Is Trauma Informed Yoga? And Why Do You Need To Know?



In the ever-expanding world of yoga, where ancient practices continue to evolve to meet modern needs, a concept gaining significant attention is Trauma-Informed Yoga. Rooted in compassion and understanding, this approach offers a profound way for individuals to heal, both physically and emotionally. After the events of the last several years, and a greater prioritization of mental and emotional health, this style of yoga is becoming more and more important in a yoga studio or class environment. Learning the skills to support your students and to create a safe and inclusive space is an essential part of being a good yoga teacher. 


What is Trauma-Informed Yoga?

Trauma-Informed Yoga is an approach that recognizes the widespread impact of trauma on individuals and society at large. It is an adaptation of traditional yoga techniques, tailored specifically to create a safe and supportive environment for individuals who have experienced trauma. Unlike conventional yoga classes, Trauma-Informed Yoga prioritizes the emotional and psychological well-being of its practitioners.


Origins and Evolution

The roots of Trauma-Informed Yoga can be traced back to the ancient yogic philosophies, where the emphasis was not just on physical postures but also on mental and emotional well-being. Over the years, mental health experts and yoga practitioners collaborated to develop this specialized form of yoga, blending traditional yoga practices with modern psychology and trauma research.

People sitting in meditation

Who is Trauma-Informed Yoga For?

Trauma-Informed Yoga is designed for anyone who has experienced trauma, regardless of its nature or intensity. This can include survivors of abuse, veterans, individuals with PTSD, or those dealing with high-stress environments. Additionally, it is valuable for yoga instructors, mental health professionals, and caregivers who wish to support individuals in their healing journey. Specific trauma informed yoga classes are now becoming more readily available. However, having this understanding as a yoga teacher is beneficial for ALL yoga classes, ensuring that you have the skills to support your class, not knowing what your students may be battling with internally. Yoga can be an emotional journey and can unlock emotions that may be just below the surface. Having the capacity to hold space for whatever arises for your students can facilitate a much deeper emotional journey and help your students heal and process in an evirnonment they feel safe within. 


Key Elements of Trauma-Informed Yoga

  • Safety and Trust: Creating a safe, non-judgmental space where participants feel secure and supported.
  • Empowerment: Encouraging individuals to make their own choices and decisions during the practice.
  • Body Awareness: Fostering awareness of bodily sensations, helping practitioners reconnect with their physical selves.
  • Choice and Control: Allowing participants to choose postures and movements that feel comfortable and empowering them to opt out if needed.
  • Mindfulness and Breathwork: Incorporating mindful breathing exercises to help regulate emotions and promote relaxation.
  • Emotional Expression: Providing avenues for emotional release, acknowledging and validating participants’ emotions without judgment.
  • Cultivating Positivity: Focusing on positive affirmations, self-compassion, and self-acceptance.
sunrise meditation on yoga retreat

Benefits of Trauma-Informed Yoga

  • Promotes Emotional Healing: Facilitates the release of stored emotions, aiding in emotional processing and healing.
  • Reduces Anxiety and Stress: Encourages relaxation and stress reduction through breathwork and mindfulness techniques.
  • Enhances Self-Empowerment: Helps individuals regain control over their bodies, fostering a sense of empowerment and self-efficacy.
  • Improves Self-Compassion: Cultivates self-compassion and self-love, essential for healing from trauma.
  • Builds Resilience: Teaches coping skills and resilience, enabling individuals to navigate challenges with greater ease.
  • Encourages Mind-Body Connection: Strengthens the connection between the mind and body, promoting holistic healing.


Why Become a Certified Trauma Informed Yin Yoga Teacher?

Trauma-Informed Yoga is a beacon of hope for those on a healing journey. By embracing the principles of safety, empowerment, and compassion, individuals can find solace and strength within themselves. Whether you are a trauma survivor or a yoga enthusiast looking to deepen your understanding, exploring Trauma-Informed Yoga can be a transformative and enriching experience, guiding you towards a path of healing and self-discovery.

For yoga teachers, delving into the realm of Trauma-Informed Yoga is a crucial step towards becoming truly inclusive and empathetic instructors. By undergoing training in Trauma-Informed Yoga, you gain invaluable insights into the intricate connections between body, mind, and trauma. 

This knowledge equips you with the skills to create a safe space within your classes, where students can practice without fear, judgment, or retraumatization. Understanding the nuances of trauma allows you to approach your students with greater sensitivity, acknowledging that each individual’s healing journey is unique. It enables you to offer appropriate modifications, use trauma-sensitive language, and employ calming techniques, ensuring that their classes cater to a diverse range of needs. Moreover, Trauma-Informed Yoga training empowers you to recognize signs of trauma in your students, allowing them to respond with compassion and support. Ultimately, this training not only enhances your ability to guide students effectively, but also enriches the overall yoga community by fostering an environment of understanding, acceptance, and healing.

two women meditating by ocean

Trauma Informed Yin Yoga Teacher Training at Vikasa

Our 100hr Yin Yoga Teacher Training now incorporates a module and focuses on trauma informed yoga. This is an approach to practicing yin yoga that takes into consideration the potential impact of trauma on individuals and seeks to create a safe and supportive environment for healing and self-discovery.

Read more about our Yin Yoga Teacher training and the curriculum which now includes trauma informed yoga here.

Take your teaching to new heights and certify yourself to support your students in the best way possible.