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How Trauma-Informed Yoga Heals

"An essential aspect of recovering from trauma is learning ways to calm down, or self-regulate. For thousands of years, Yoga has been offered as a practice that helps one calm the mind and body. More recently, research has shown that Yoga practices, including meditation, relaxation, and physical postures, can reduce autonomic sympathetic activation, muscle tension, and blood pressure, improve neuroendocrine and hormonal activity, decrease physical symptoms and emotional distress, and increase quality of life. For these reasons, Yoga is a promising treatment or adjunctive therapy for addressing the cognitive, emotional, and physiological symptoms associated with trauma, and PTSD specifically (Emerson, Sharma, & Chaudhry, 2009)."

Trauma-Informed Yoga provides participants with...
(Emerson, Sharma, & Chaudhry, 2009)

  • An opportunity to practice making choices and therefore gain an increased sense of autonomy and empowerment.
  • The development of a sense of safety in the body.
  • An opportunity to take effective action through “corrective experience”.
  • An effective way to explore a sense of time; that all events have a beginning, middle and end.
  • Decreased depression and anxiety.
  • Increased self-regulation and decrease hyperarousal.
  • A decrease in autonomic dysregulation.
  • Increased body/self awareness and acceptance.
  • Increased self esteem.
  • Stress reduction.
  • Improved sleep.
  • A new sense of community and reprieve from isolation
  • Decreased pulse rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure.

Emerson, D., Sharma, R., & Chaudhry, S. (2009). Trauma-Sensitive Yoga: Principles, Practice, and Research. International Journal of Yoga Therapy , 123-128.
Lamb, T. (2009). Health Benefits of Yoga. Retrieved November 21, 2012, from International Association of Yoga Therapists:


Links to organizations doing research about trauma-sensitive yoga and mindfulness practices

The Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute

Niroga Institute

Integrative Restoration Institute

Research papers & interesting articles about trauma-sensitive yoga

Download Application of Yoga in Residential Treatment of Traumatized Youth.pdf (218.08 KB)

Download A Feeling of Connectedness Presectives on a Gentle Yoga Intervention for Women with Major Depression.pdf (342.13 KB)

Download Managing Mental Health Disorders Resulting from Trauma through Yoga A Review.pdf (499.23 KB)

Download Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Low Income AAW with PTSD and History of Intimate Partner Violence.pdf (60.34 KB)

Download Narrative Review of Yoga and Mindfulness as Complementary Therapies for Addiction.pdf (193.17 KB)

Download Perspective on trauma informed care from mothers with a history of childhood maltreament.pdf (61.43 KB)

Download Potential Self Regulatory Mechanism of Yoga for Psychological Health.pdf (1.36 MB)

Download The Emerging Role of Mediatation in Addressing Psychiatric Illness, with a Focus on Substance Use Diorders.pdf (322.6 KB)

Download Traum sensitive yoga as an adjunct mental health treatment in group therapy for.pdf (158.54 KB)

Download Yoga as Complementary Therapy for Children and Adolescents.pdf (137.73 KB)

Download Yoga for Schizophrenia Systematic Review.pdf (371.91 KB)

Download Yoga on our minds Systematic review of yoga for neuropsychiatric disorders.pdf (1.08 MB)

Download Yoga Practice May Buffer the Deleterious Effectsof Abuse on Womens Self Concept and Dysfunctional Coping.pdf (128.98 KB)

Download Yoga+and+Social+Justice+by+Sarahjoy+Marsh.pdf (162.22 KB)

Download YogaWarriors (SaluteToFreedomArticle).pdf (853.27 KB)




Burnaby Youth Custody Centre
For as little as $15 a month, less than a drop in yoga class, you can ensure that youth and adults in mental health facilities, prison or youth custody, alcohol and drug treatment centers, women and children who have experienced violence, or adults suffering from early onset dementia, have access to the powerful and healing practices of yoga and meditation, providing a method to reclaim their minds and bodies, to self regulate, and to connect with people in their community.