Trauma-sensitive yoga was developed by The Trauma Center by David Emerson in Boston several years ago to give individuals a safe way to access their trauma and work through the sensations felt in the body by rebuilding the neural pathways related to making choices based on feelings. This is an evidence-based technique that uses invitational and inquiry-based language to create safety for participants to choose what feels most supportive for them during a class in order to find healing.
During a trauma-sensitive yoga class, participants will be invited to be as comfortable as possible by choosing the area of the room where they set up their mats as well as by wearing clothing that allows them to move freely and then by having the ability to choose how they will participate in the movement practice based on what feels right to them.
Being empowered to make these basic decisions and discover what their body is capable of slowly begins to integrate into their lives outside of class, giving them control that they may feel that they had lost during early childhood trauma or other types of trauma that had made them feel powerless. Nicki advises participants to have a therapist or counselor outside of class with whom they can talk and process their feelings and realizations from class.
Nicki encourages those struggling with long-term trauma to investigate if this movement practice would be helpful to them and find a provider in their area. To find out more about Nicki’s trauma-sensitive yoga classes and training sessions, visit www.traumasensitiveyogawest.ca or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.