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   What is Trauma-Responsive Yoga?

Trauma-Responsive Yoga (TRY) is a trauma-healing resource curating Trauma-Informed Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, and Trauma-Sensitive Yoga practices, with the latest, evidenced-based clinical research regarding the effects of trauma and stress on the brain/body, along with cognitive, emotional, and somatic effects and behaviors. TRY uses invitational, predictable movements and/or postures to mindfully connect to the body, endorse safety, minimize triggers, and promote agency. TRY holds a partnership with the nervous system and uses this as a conduit to “feeling” safe in the body versus “talking” one’s way to feeling safe.  TRY gentle movements and/or postures, breathwork, social connectivity, and self-compassion exercises are all key elements to healing stress and trauma within this framework. TRY can be used as an adjunctive intervention with individuals and/or groups.


What sets Trauma-Responsive Yoga (TRY) apart from traditional yoga? Movements and/or postures used in TRY are “people-informed,” prioritizing the emotional and psychological safety. First, the invitational language that is repeatedly used allows for autonomy and choice-making; such as when and how they would like to engage in a specific movement (e.g., “when you are ready,” “if you would like”). Second, touch is never used with TRY. This minimizes the potential for hyper/hypo-arousal, dissociation, and/or re-traumatization. Third, movement and/or posture alignment or conforming to a standard of what one is “supposed to look like” is highly discouraged. Rather, the invitation to connect inward is emphasized to bring greater self-awareness to one’s inner experience. Fourth, TRY classes are typically single gendered, with class attendance recommended to be 7-8 participants or less This helps promote a sense of safety and a more personal and intimate experience. Fifth, many of the movements and/or postures can be made accessible to all, regardless of physicality. Last, prior yoga experience is not required for the clinician/instructor or the participant. Most important, is for the clinician/instructor to have a strong somatic/embodiment based stress and trauma understanding, bridged with the experiential practice gained in this workshop!


"The Trauma Responsive Yoga training provided by Dr. Vasquez and Traci Ludwig was excellent.  I had secretly been interested in doing a trauma yoga related training for some time but was not ready to dive into months or years of training yet. I was very excited to see this opportunity. As someone who has done a good bit of trauma training previous to this training, I learned several new things from the educational portion of the training that have been helpful generally in my clinical work with clients.   I appreciated the hands on practice offered during the training and the additional online support afterwards.  As a clinician who is not certified in yoga instruction, I felt nervous going in about my ability to lead others in practice, but left feeling confident in my ability to do so.  Since completing the training, I've been able to offer Trauma Responsive Yoga sessions to college students on the campus I work at.  It's also helped to reinforce my own personal yoga practice as a form of self care."  - Bobby-Jo Molokken, LISW, IADC, CCTP, Luther College Counseling Service

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