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What is Trauma Sensitive Yoga?

"Yoga~ seems to be a useful complement to trauma treatment because it directly targets the very symptoms that other approaches struggle to address by using the body purposefully. TSY, cultivates awareness of the mind~body connection and to build self-regulation skills to address the ways in which trauma is held in the body."~ David Emerson

Learn how to reclaim your body.

The TCTSY methodology is based on central components of the hatha style of yoga, where participants engage in a series of physical forms and movements. Elements of standard hatha yoga are modified to maximize experiences of empowerment and to cultivate a more positive relationship to one's body. Unlike many public yoga classes, TCTSY does not use physical hands-on adjustments to influence a participant's physical form. Rather, TCTSY presents opportunities for participants to be in charge of themselves based on a felt sense of their own body.

Although TCTSY employs physical forms and movements, the emphasis is not on the external expression or appearance (i.e. doing it"right"), or receiving the approval of an external authority. Rather, the focus is on the internal experience of the participant. This shift in orientation, from the external to the internal, is a key attribute of TCTSY as a complementary treatment for complex trauma. With our approach, the power resides within the individual, not the facilitator (TCTSY-F). Further, by focusing on the felt sense of the body to inform choice-making, TCTSY allows participants to restore their connection of mind and body and cultivate a sense of agency that is often compromised as a result of trauma.

In 2021, Trauma Sensitive Yoga was further validated as an effective adjunct treatment for complex trauma and PTSD in a study involving women veterans and military sexual trauma-related PTSD.

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