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What Is Trauma Informed Yoga?

After experiencing trauma or violence, many people report feeling disconnected from their bodies. Some people even numb the connection intentionally, as a survival strategy.

A trauma informed yoga class can be a safe, welcoming environment where people can begin to reconnect with their bodies.

Teaching from a trauma informed place may create a healing space by:

  • offering choices
  • guaranteeing no hands-on assists,
  • providing opportunities to get curious about sensation

Relationship building and personal agency is our top priority in this type of class.

Our Values

We respectfully acknowledge that the work of Yoga Outreach takes place across the homelands of 203 distinct Indigenous nations and cultures; with over 30 different languages and close to 60 unique dialects spoken across those homelands. We honour the Elders for their stewardship of the places and people of these nations. Yoga Outreach’s staff work from home offices on the traditional, ancestral, and stolen lands of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), qiqéyt (Qayqayt), sc̓əwaθenaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsawwassen), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), Kwikwetlem, Stz’uminus, sɛmiˈɑːmoʊ (Semiahmoo), sq̓əc̓iy̓aɁɬ təməxʷ (Katzie), Á,LEṈENEȻ ȽTE (W̱SÁNEĆ), Kwantlen, Snuneymuxw, and, the lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) speaking people of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. We invite you to take a moment to reflect on whose land you are living and working on and if you don’t know, to research and reflect.

Our mission is to expand access to trauma informed yoga programs to support healing and connection.

Yoga Outreach partners with volunteer yoga instructors, community organizations, social service agencies, and prisons, to provide trauma informed yoga programming to under resourced adults and youth.

Yoga Outreach programs are student-centred and trauma-informed serving adults and youth facing challenges with mental health, addiction, poverty, violence, trauma, and imprisonment.

In addition, we provide training, ongoing mentorship, and community building opportunities to build capacity for trauma informed yoga.

Our goals are:

  • To provide yoga classes that are student-centred and trauma informed.
  • To provide volunteers with safe, supported opportunities to be of service as part of their yogic path.
  • To provide our facility partners with well-trained and well-supported volunteer instructors and program props.
  • To build capacity for the tools of trauma informed yoga to be utilized across communities.

Yoga Outreach believes the diversity of experiences, ideas, individuals, and organizations in our community make us stronger. To create a more just and engaged world, we must embrace and celebrate diversity, practice inclusion, and be a champion of equity.

We recognize diversity in many ways, including but not limited to:

  • Age
  • Citizenship
  • Class and economic circumstance
  • Disability, mental illness, and neurodiversity
  • Education and professional experience
  • Geography and community size or location
  • Language
  • Physical appearance and body size
  • Race, ethnicity, and country of origin or nationality
  • Religion
  • Sex, gender, and gender identity
  • Sexual orientation and identity

While we are committed to addressing diversity as an intersectional issue, we believe the foundation of this work is rooted in racial equity, due to the dominance of white supremacy in all systems of oppression.

We accept that our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) means a commitment to constant learning—we will make mistakes, but we are determined to learn from them and to improve.

To be transparent and realistic, we also acknowledge that our capacity as an organization means we cannot always implement inclusive measures to the level that we may like (such as providing content in multiple languages). We are accountable to ourselves (both as staff and board) and to the community, and are creating regular opportunities for reporting on our work, progress, mistakes, and plans.

We encourage and invite your feedback. To support accountability and to be accessible as we continue to do this work, we hope that you will share your ideas, questions, and experiences with us. You can do so by contacting us by email ( at any time.

With thanks to NTEN for their inspiration for this statement.


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